Estate Planning for Pets

Apr 9, 2021 lifefocusplanning-admin

Estate Planning for Pets | Pet Trusts | Pet Planning | Michigan Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate Planning for Pets – Yes, Its A Real Thing

By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. Consider estate planning for your pets on April 11th, National Pet Day. The animals in our lives are often considered to be part of our families. They provide companionship and comfort. They have their own unique likes, dislikes and traits. And over the time we spend with them, we learn how to best take care of them.

A discussion that often comes up with clients, is who will take my dog/cat/animal when I am no longer able to?

We leave detailed instructions for pet sitters when we are gone for a short time, but what about if we are disabled or gone forever?

With proper pet planning you can ensure that your pet will continue to receive the same special care that you provide when you cannot. Even though a friend or family member may offer to care for a pet in the event of your disability or death, you may feel more secure having a legally enforceable instrument.

Creating A Pet Trust

The law allows you to create a trust for your pet. A Pet Trust must be for a domestic or pet animal and terminates when the pet is no longer living or 21 years after the trust’s creation. You can name a caregiver in your trust. This should be someone who will feel comfortable around the pet and is willing to undertake the responsibilities. Also, the Pet Trust can provide guidance by way of special instructions for the care of your pet. Instructions can include: food and diet instructions, grooming, vet care, socialization, activities, and compensation for a caregiver and the trustee. You may also provide instructions on final arrangements for your beloved animals. This way the caretaker knows what you would have done in that situation and can act accordingly.

None of the pet trust’s principal and income can be used for anything other than for the benefit of the covered animal(s) unless otherwise stated in the trust and when pet dies the remaining funds or property is transferred according to the terms of the trust to any residuary beneficiaries.

Planning before disability or death for the care of your pets can provide you peace of mind. You’ll know they will be well taken care of in the manner you want. To discuss adding your pets to your estate plan, or other planning needs, we offer complimentary initial consultations. We can be reached at (248) 409-0256.

Matthew A. Ferri

About the Author

Matthew A. FerriJ.D., M.B.A., is the Founder and Principal of Life Focus Planning, a Michigan based estate planning law firm. He is an estate planning attorney with offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Shelby Township, Michigan.

Recent Articles

Life Focus Planning
By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. What do you need to know before finding an attorney for estate planning? We’ll cover the basics here. Estate planning secures your family’s future and ensures your wishes are met when you’re no longer able to make decisions for yourself. While many people think of estate planning in terms of wills […]
Life Focus Planning
By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. Beneficiaries are individuals, organizations, or entities whom you designate to receive your assets or benefits upon your passing. They can include family members, friends, charities, or even trusts and business entities. Properly naming each beneficiary is essential in ensuring that your legacy is managed and distributed according to your preferences. In […]
Life Focus Planning
By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. A will ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. An often overlooked but critical decision is selecting the right Personal Representative. Your Personal Representative is responsible for administering your estate, handling financial matters, and ensuring your instructions are followed. In this article, we’ll explore the […]
Life Focus Planning
By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq. Estate planning is not only about distributing your assets at death. It also involves safeguarding your interests during your lifetime, particularly if unforeseen circumstances render you unable to make decisions on your own. A Power of Attorney (POA) grants someone you trust the authority to act on your behalf in various […]
Call Now Button