Estate Planning for Pets
For many pet owners, pets are members of the family. Given the feelings of many individuals towards their pets, and the costs of care and longevity of some types of pets, planning in this area can be of critical importance.
Today, under both South Carolina and New York law, an individual can create a trust for the care of a his or her pet in the amount required to care for the animal over the term of the trust. Both statutes allow virtually any third party designated by the terms of the trust to use the trust funds for the benefit of pets.
The pet’s current standard of care determines the amount required to provide care for the pet. Factors include: the cost of daily care (food, treats, and daycare), veterinary care (yearly teeth cleaning, shots, nail trimming, and emergency care), grooming, boarding, travel expenses, and pet insurance. Additional factors may apply in particular cases. For example, horses are expensive to maintain and require exercise, training, and a large tract of land; some birds and reptiles have very long life expectancies; and care of some pets will require construction of a special habitat on the caregiver’s property.
Contact the Farina Law Firm, PC today to include your pets in your estate plan and make sure that they are cared for, even when you are unable to care for them directly.