Our September newsletter discussed the importance of including your pets in your estate plan. After sending our newsletter, we received a great deal of interest in Pet Trusts so we thought we would share more information about Aging Ally for our pet lover followers.
Pet owners aging without a limited support structure
Hurley Elder Care Law’s Aging Ally program provides an opportunity for pet owners to make provisions for their pets’ care and maintenance through incapacity and subsequently at death. This program is especially helpful if you don’t have people to name as trustees to manage the care of your pet.
When we partner with an individual or family as their Aging Ally, we ask them to complete comprehensive information regarding their pet; including photos, a description of the pet, veterinary information, vaccinations, and an emergency contact person. This way we have access to critical information if we need to act on behalf of our client. As an Aging Ally, we have assisted our clients with their pets in various ways, from helping them identify long-term care facilities that allow pets, to rehoming pets after our clients have passed.
How does this work practically?
A great example is a client who was making a move from home to an independent living community. We helped identify a short-list of pet-friendly communities so she could bring her pets to her new home. During this process, we also had to ensure that the animals were up to date on all vaccinations. Our team identified a mobile veterinary service to have the animals checked out and vaccinated so they could safely make the move with our client.
Planning is great but what about emergencies?
Aging Ally makes sure there are provisions in place for pet care in case of an emergency. A client living independently had an unexpected illness that required hospitalization and subsequent rehabilitation. With a good prognosis, but a lengthy recovery, provisions for temporary care for her pet were critical. Thankfully, as part of the Aging Ally process, we had already identified a local Vet that provides emergency boarding services as well as an agency that runs a robust hospital foster program.
A quality estate plan includes provisions for your pets. To learn more about a Pet Trust or our Aging Ally program, contact Hurley Elder Care Law at 404-843-0121.