A few weeks ago, I took my kids to see The Secret Life of Pets. It was cute, fun and the kids loved it. Of course, when I take my kids to the movies, my elder law brain has to go with me. So, spoiler alert, there was a pet in the movie who had an older owner who had died. This put the pet in a vulnerable position. Wacky hi-jinks ensue, and all is well at the end. But my brain goes to, wow, this pet could have really benefited from a pet trust so that in the event of his owner’s death, he would have a responsible human and funding to take care of him.
Now fast forward. I recently supervised a Will signing and I’m happy to say there was a pet trust included. In New Jersey, like in many states, there are statutory provisions for funding a pet trust during life or in your Will. There are also nonprofit organizations such as the Associated Humane Societies Inc. who will accept pets, and you can make an arrangement with them for the pets to receive lifetime care. Kitty City is one example of these kinds of places.If you want to include a charitable bequest or pet trust in your Last Will and Testament, it’s important to be specific, provide all important details, and have the name of the charitable organization precisely correct (to avoid disputes between different charities).
If you are an animal lover, take advantage of this! Make sure that the not-so-secret lives of your pets are provided for in your estate plan!
Call us for estate plan advice and to prepare trusts for your pets … 732-382-6070