Kissimmee Pet Trust Attorney
For many people, their pets are like members of the family, and they want to protect their loved ones after they die. To that end, many of our clients draft a pet trust to ensure that a beloved pet is taken care of.
However, pet trusts are complicated legal documents, and you should meet with an attorney to review whether a trust is even what you want to create. Contact the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. for more information from a Kissimmee pet trust attorney.
Pet Trust Basics
With a trust, you will name someone to take care of your pet. You will also leave the trust assets, which the caretaker will use to provide food, medical care, and other necessities for your beloved pet.
Pet trusts were not legal in Florida until 2002 when the legislature passed Fla Stat. §736.0408, so they are a relatively new estate planning tool. Trusts are necessary because animals cannot inherit money directly from an owner the way a child or other human can. However, with the right trust, you can ensure that your pets live out their lives in relative comfort.
Choosing the Right Caretaker
A trust can have all the assets in the world, but that does not guarantee that your pets will be properly cared for. Instead, you need to name someone who understands your animals and likes them. Often, people choose one of their children, but it is up to you. If you are unsure of who to name, talk it over with your attorney. Also discuss with any caretaker what type of care you want provided.
We also encourage you to name a successor caretaker in case your original choice ultimately declines to serve or dies before you. A successor should be chosen with the same amount of care.
If your preferred caretaker also has pets, then they should meet to see if they are compatible. You can possibly spend a day at the park or introduce the pets to each other and see how well they get along. You also should consider whether you want all your pets to go to the same home.
No one knows your pets quite like you, so we encourage our clients to leave detailed instructions for the care and maintenance of their animals. Some considerations include:
- The name of the vet that you take your pet to
- How often your pet should be fed a day
- When and if your pet should be walked
We have experience helping clients draft letters of instruction that can provide necessary detail for the caretaker.
Funding Your Trust
A trust needs to be funded with assets, which can include anything of value, though most clients will use money. Talk with your attorney about how much money you will need to put in the name of the trust. Generally, the amount depends on the number of pets, their ages, and how much it costs to take care of them now. Realize that animals often need more money as they age, since medical expenses often explode near the end of life.
You should also discuss what to do with any money that might be left over when your last pet dies. You might choose to donate it to an animal welfare organization, or you might want it to go to the caretaker or another beneficiary.
Contact a Kissimmee Pet Trust Attorney Now
Planning for your pets is part of any comprehensive estate plan. Call the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate today to schedule your free consultation.