As I walk through the airports of the many states, I can’t help but notice the security pets that are with their owners for the trip to another destination. It is heart-warming to see such an attachment to these pets and vise-versa the attachment of pets to their owners. Many times I have sat next to the owners and pets with conversations that always evolve to their concerns of what will happen to their pets when the owners pass away. This got me to ponder this question and look into this further with organizations that share this concern.
Many of my own clients have concerns about their cherished pets. Pets, as I refer these friends, come in their own sizes, needs and life-spans. Just to list a few: Dogs range in live span from 6 to 15 years, while cats can live into their 20’s. Other animals are not often thought of as pets, but their owners look upon and love them as a pet; such as horses, bulls, turtles and may others. These pets can easily live from 30 years to over 120 years. The concern is who will look after these pets and this is article is the summary of what I have found.
I have watched several lawyers on video talk about pet trusts that become a part of your Revocable Trust or Living Trust or Family Trust, but they really don’t work. Just trusting a friend to look after your pets has its own problems when the friend dies shortly after you. There is even an experienced lawyer who has many pets and created a pet trust to have her husband look after the pets while she openly know that he will probably marry again. This begs the questions, what will the new wife feel about spending money on the deceased spouse’s pets? I have seen that when you give money to animal shelters through your will or Revocable Trust, your wishes after your death are not honored by your children who sue the animal shelter to recover the estates’ assets saying their Mother or Father was unduly influenced into making the post-death gift. Of course, these shelters are so under funded that they are not prepared for thousands of dollars in legal defense; so the money goes back to the children.