Estate Planning - puppy with blurred background

Pet Trusts and Estate Planning-Gilbert AZ, Part One

When you’re making plans to secure your assets for future generations, there is one family member you don’t want to forget: your beloved pet. You’ll be glad to know, 50 states in America and the District of Columbia have all enacted pet trust laws. Phelps LaClair in Gilbert, AZ has helped countless families with their estate planning. We understand your pet is part of your family; it’s one reason we’re writing this two-part series on Pet Trusts and Estate Planning.

Your friends and family members may not have the same concern for your pet that you feel. Without your written directives, your dog, cat, or exotic animal may end up homeless, in a shelter, or worse, being put to sleep, as happened in this story. To ensure your pet continues to be given the same quality of care it received while living with you, we advise including directives for its care in your estate planning portfolio.

Estate Planning and Pets

By law, a pet is considered tangible personal property, just like the other assets of your estate. Leaving instructions about your property, your car, and your other assets is part of good estate planning. Setting up a pet trust is also good planning and will assure your instructions are followed for your pet’s future care. In a pet trust, you can set aside funds from your estate for your pet’s annual vet checkups, for their food supply, and for other aspects of their care. Your pet trust can even specify your pet’s exercise regime and what brand of food they should be fed.

Which is better, a Will or a Trust?

You do not want to set up a will for your pet’s care after you’re gone. Since a will distributes funds in a lump sum, it’s not guaranteed that the designated funds will be used to care for your pet. A trust is a much better way to go, since the funds of a trust can legally be set aside for specific purposes and distributed over a period of time. At Phelps LaClair in Gilbert, AZ, we know your pet is important to you. We’re available to help you set up all of your estate planning, including a pet trust that will keep your pet safe and secure even after you’ve passed away or become incapacitated. Call us for a free consultation. And for more details on what you can do to prepare for your pet’s future care, see our next blog post on Pet Trusts and Estate Planning-Gilbert, AZ, Part Two.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/20/2018) Martin Astley (Flickr)

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