Owning a pet is truly a special experience. Many pet owners in Georgia regard their dogs, cats and even reptiles as members of the family. However, when it comes to things like estate planning, beloved pets are often handled improperly or left out entirely. Instead of skipping over a four-legged friend, looking into the benefits of trust preparation could be helpful.
No matter how a person may feel about his or her pet, the law only views the animal as property. Leaving money to property is simply not possible, so trying to leave money directly to a pet would not work. This does not mean that an owner cannot include a pet in his will. For example, some pet owners choose to include their wishes for what should happen to pets. While a good idea for some, it does not guarantee that those wishes will be followed, and there is not much that a person can do to assure future care of a pet.
A pet trust is a far more effective tool for making sure a pet is cared for after an owner’s death or should he or she become incapacitated. This type of trust allows for detailed instructions regarding an animal, including walk schedules, type of food and more. Not only is a pet trust better at enforcing an owner’s wishes, it has financial benefits too. Providing a lump sum of money to the pet’s caregiver is risky, as there is a chance that he or she might mismanage the funds. A trust can pay out benefits on a regular schedule.
The bond between a pet and its owner might be hard to understand from the outside, which is why it is so important to plan for an animal’s future. This might be accomplished most easily through estate planning. Estate law can be tricky though, and it is easier to make mistakes than some people in Georgia may realize. For some people, speaking with an experienced attorney can make pet trust preparation easier.