My dog is definitely part of my family. Whether I leave for five minutes or five hours, he is always overjoyed when I return. He is our resident clown, making my husband and me laugh after even the longest day at work. We often say we love him like a child.
Since you are reading this article, you likely feel the same about your pet. If I asked you what you do to keep your pet happy and healthy, I bet you could name dozens of things that you do to take care of your furry companion. But what would happen to Fido or Fluffy if something happened to you?
The sad truth is that most people fail to make proper arrangements for the care of their pets in case they are no longer available or able to do it themselves. They may assume that a family member or friend will step into their shoes, or even have an informal agreement to that effect. However, without a valid legal document in place, that family member or friend is not bound to care for your pet – properly, or at all!
The good news is that many states, including Florida, allow pet owners to plan for their pet by creating a pet trust. You can use a pet trust not just to name the person(s) who will take care of your pet in case of your disability or death, but also to specify what kind of care your pet must receive and provide the funds to pay for it. A qualified estate planning attorney should be able to create a pet trust as part of your overall estate plan. At Cramer Law Center, we would be happy to help you develop a comprehensive estate plan for your family, whether furry, human, or both!