Can I Include a Pet in an Estate Plan in New York?

Can I Include a Pet in an Estate Plan in New York?

When people create an estate plan, their intent is to protect their loved ones and ensure they are taken care of when they are no longer around to do so themselves. For many people, their pets are considered a member of their family. In these situations, it is possible to put provisions in place through a pet trust. This allows you to make sure your pet is taken care of in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away.  Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New York estate planning attorney for assistance.

What is a Pet Trust?

By using a pet trust, you are able to designate the wishes you have for your pet as well as allocate certain funds for their care. This can be done in a will, as part of a revocable living trust, or a stand-alone trust. In doing so, it is important to be specific regarding what is included. This may be the pet’s healthcare, the veterinarians they have, your plans for their future burial, and how leftover funds should be distributed when the pet dies.

How is a Pet Trust Set Up?

The first step in creating a pet trust is to choose a trustee. It is best to choose a person who is separate from the individual who will have custodial responsibility for the pet. This is because while one person manages finances, the other can serve as guardian and look after one another during this time. Doing so allows them to ensure they are both following the deceased’s wishes. It is not always easy to choose these individuals, as you want to make sure your pet is cared for properly when you are no longer around. 

Once both parties are chosen and informed of their duties, an official document can be drafted. This can be done with an inter vivos trust or testamentary trust so that you can determine care for your pets. This involves providing proper funding for the rest of the pet’s life. During this time, it can be beneficial to choose backup trustees or guardians, just in case. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help to make sure you have everything you need so that your pet will have a good home when you are gone.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wish to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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