What is a pet trust and how can establishing one, help you take care of your furry friends? For many of us, a pet is a true part of the family. According to the ASPCA, about 44% of households have a dog, while 35% have a cat. There are proven health benefits to owning a pet like an increase in your physical activity and more social interaction. These activities can lower your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and your triglycerides. Pets provide valuable companionship to older adults and lower your stress and anxiety levels.
With so many animal lovers out there, including many on the Hurley Elder Care Law team, planning and making provisions for pets is a top priority for many of our clients. There are several ways to include your pets in your Life Care Plan.
Creating a Pet Trust
In 2010, the Georgia Legislature enacted a law allowing for the creation of trusts for animals. A trust for animals, more commonly referred to as a pet trust, creates a legal relationship between the pet owner, trustee, and the pet. This type of trust allows you to leave money behind for your pet’s care, as well as state what your wishes are regarding the pet’s quality of life, who will care for the pet, and where the pet will live.
The pet trust should also include provisions for back-up trustees and caregivers for the animal. For instance, if the pet outlives the trustee, there should be another person to step in and manage the funds for the pet’s benefit. In addition, the trust should outline where the pet would live if the caregiver is no longer able to properly care for the pet. There are a number of no-kill shelters, as well as charitable organizations that specifically care for senior pets.
For example, an owner creating a pet trust may say that they want to leave $10,000 in trust to be used to care for their dog, Buddy. The pet owner may also state that they wish for the pet to live with their nephew, John, but if John cannot care for Buddy, then they wish for him to go to a no-kill animal shelter so that he can be rehomed.
Pet trusts are a great way to ensure that your animal is cared for and that you have peace of mind knowing that your furry friend will be in good hands.
Aging Alone and Worried About What Will Happen to Your Pet?
At Hurley Elder Care Law we noticed many of our senior clients were aging alone or without a sufficient support system. We recognized the need for a better decision making safety net and our Aging Ally program was born!
Through Aging Ally, we can serve as your surrogate decision-maker for financial and healthcare decisions, as well as help you plan for your pet. We ask our Aging Ally clients to complete comprehensive information regarding their pets. We have assisted our clients in various ways including helping them identify long-term care facilities that allow pets, to rehoming pets after our clients have passed.
Please call our office to discuss a pet trust and how to incorporate them into your life care plan.
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At Hurley Elder Care Law, we are committed to helping our clients find, get, and pay for good long-term care. For more information on how an elder law attorney can assist your family, please visit our website at www.hurleyeclaw.com or call our office at (404) 843-0121 for a complimentary telephone consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and serving your family!