An estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide the help that you need to ensure all of your loved ones are taken care of if something happens and you are not there to provide care yourself. When you make your plans to provide for the people you love, it is important not to consider only human family members but also to think about your pets as well.
According to the ASPCA, there are around 7.6 million companion animals surrendered to shelters annually. Around 2.7 million of the surrendered animals are euthanized. In many tragic cases, pets end up being surrendered because their loving owners become incapacitated or because their owners pass away.
If you want to make certain that your pets will be cared for no matter what, you should reach out to The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. for help. An estate planning attorney at our firm can help you to put together a pet plan that is right for your situation so you can have the peace of mind of knowing your animals will not be left uncared for if something happens to you.
How to Make a Plan to Protect Your Pets
Making a plan to protect your pets can begin with taking steps to ensure someone is immediately appointed to care for your animals if you pass away or suffer a serious illness or injury. You may wish to carry a card in your wallet or put a note on your phone that if something happens to you, you want a particular person to be called to go and care for your animals. You can simply indicate on the note that you have animals at home and put the name and contact phone number of a person to call in an emergency.
You should also make plans for the long-term care of your animals if you will not be there to provide care for them. You should name a guardian who will be put in charge of caring for your animals if you are hospitalized, incapacitated, or you pass away. Be certain that you talk to the chosen guardian before you name that person and that the guardian is willing and able to take responsibility for the care of the animals. Because there is always a possibility that circumstances could change, you should also strongly consider naming a backup guardian who will take care of the animals if your chosen person is unable to do so at the time when something happens to you.
Since it can be expensive to care for pets and you do not want your animals to be deprived of any care that they need, it is also a good idea to make a plan to provide some funding for the care of your animals. Often, the best way to do this is to create a trust and transfer assets into the trust. While this is more complex than simply designating money for your animal’s care in your last will and testament, the creation of a trust gives you much more control.
When you create a trust, you can designate a responsible trustee who will manage the assets held in the trust. You can specify that the trust assets must be used for the specific purpose of providing care for your animals and you can be confident that the trustee must obey your instructions in the trust document and use the funds for your intended purposes. By taking this step, you relieve your animal’s guardians of the financial burden of pet care and you can ensure your pets get the very best care.
Getting Help from an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can offer the personalized help that you need to create a pet plan that ensures your animals are cared for. We can offer you assistance with a standalone pet plan or can help you to create a pet plan as part of a comprehensive estate planning process.
To find out more about the different services that we can offer to you to make sure your pets are provided for, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 585-374-5210 or contact us online to get help with making your personalized plans that are right for your family situation.