Ok, so we all agree on the importance of planning for our pets in event of our death, what are some of the options?
- Leave the pet and some money to a designated person. This is probably the easiest, the problem is the person might blow the funds on the craps table or on his/her hydroponic pot farm. If your pet dies soon, there could be a windfall to the guardian.
- Leave your pet to one person and the money to another with instructions that the money person provide regular funds to the guardian. It places some administrative hassles on the people and the money person and the guardian could disagree on the amount of regular funds needed.
- Employ a “pet trust” that provides the money and the pet be held in a trust and authorizes the trustee to spend funds necessary for the pet. This is authorized in CA (Prob. Code 15212) but not all states. Also, there’s a cost and process to create the legal instrument.
- Leave the pet to an animal care organization. Usually you have to pre-enroll and “qualify” the pet with the organization. Typically a financial donation or pledge is the required consideration. I will provide links to animal care organizations in a later post.
Whatever you decide, your desires should be expressed in written form in your power of attorney, will, or living trust.