Leesburg Pet Trust Attorney
While dogs, cats, and other pets sometimes lie closer to our hearts than some of our family and friends, our fur babies are often neglected when it comes time to estate planning. If you pass away, do you have a plan for your dog or cat? Most people do not. Florida law allows owners to create pet trusts for their beloved animals, which can be a great step in ensuring that they are loved and taken care of when you are gone. At the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A., our experienced Leesburg pet trust attorneys can help create the ideal pet trust for you. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.
A Simple Will Only Treats Pets as Property, Which May Not Be Enough For Your Pet
Many pet owners assume that by putting their pet in their will, they are doing enough. However, in a will, your pet is considered property, just like your car, TV, or wristwatch. Your pet may end up going to live with the person you wish, but that is probably about it. With a pet trust, you are able to leave assets to your pet, specific instructions, and more. For example, under a pet trust, you can name specific food that you want your pet to eat, require that your pet get ample exercise, and much more, including healthcare and burial plans for your pet. Furthermore, if your pet is only put in your will, a lot can happen between your death and the distribution of property, which includes your pet. Probate can take many months, leaving a big unknown about who is responsible for caring for your dog or cat in the meantime.
Why You Need to Work With an Attorney Who Specializes in Pet Trusts
Most estate planning and elder law attorneys do not have very much experience with pet trusts. Because of this, you need to work with an attorney who has created dozens if not hundreds of pet trusts that have stood up to challenges and succeeded. Your pet trust should include specific language that includes naming one or more caregivers, a trustee who is responsible for administering funds from the trust that go to your pet, and more. The trust needs to be funded with enough assets to last the length of your pet’s lifetime, and it is best if the trust administers regular payments, not a single lump sum that could potentially be spent on the caregivers own expenses, leaving your pet with nothing. Even if you fully trust the person you name as caregiver, unforeseen things may come up in their life, such as a medical emergency or loss of a job, that could mean they put their finances above the health and well being of your pet. Additionally, other protections need to be put in place, such as detailed medical descriptions, microchip information, and photos, so that the caregiver does not simply go out and buy a new pet to replace yours, all in order to continue receiving payments from the trust.
Call a Leesburg Pet Trust Lawyer Today
Here at the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A., our experienced attorneys can help create the ideal pet trust for you that will ensure that your pet is well cared for long after you are gone. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.