Worried You May Outlive Your Exotic Pet? What Are Your Estate Planning Options?

Law Blog

If you own a beloved myna bird, parrot, tortoise, caiman, or another animal noted for its potential three-digit lifespan, you may give some thought to who will take care of your pet if it outlives you and how they'll be able to afford this extra expense. What can you do to prevent your pet from being shuffled around after your death or, worse, sent to an animal shelter? Read on to learn more about some of the simplest and most effective estate planning techniques to ensure your pet is able to live out its natural lifespan in comfort without placing a physical or financial burden on your surviving family members.

How can you financially provide for your pet after your death?

Fortunately, there are a number of options to help you provide a steady stream of income to your pet's caretaker after your death, even if you don't have a substantial amount of assets. One option is to simply determine a beneficiary (ideally, the same person who cares for your pet, but if not, someone who has a good relationship with that person and can turn over funds without much question) and take out a relatively small life insurance policy with the proceeds directly payable to this individual. This will help the assets avoid probate and ensure there's no gap in the amount of time between your friend or family member's adoption of the pet and the receipt of insurance funds.

Another option (sometimes better suited for situations in which your pet will have expensive future needs) is the creation of a trust for your pet's benefit. This trust can invest funds on your pet's behalf while a named family member makes distributions, preventing potential heirs from squirreling away your life savings.

What should you take into account when choosing a pet guardian?

Nearly as important as ensuring your pet is taken care of financially is ensuring you have one (or more) friends or family members lined up to take custody of your pet and provide it with the same love and care it enjoyed during your life. If there's no one in your family or circle of friends who quite fits this bill or is able to accommodate extra pets in his or her home, you may want to pre-emptively contact zoos and local humane societies to determine your pet's adoption options before deciding how crucial it is to have family or close friends as pet guardians.


4 November 2016

Improving My Life With A Great Lawyer

Although many people don't think of having legal counsel as improving their life, I have found that it has really helped me to feel empowered as a business owner. Without my lawyer, it was really difficult to figure out what I could say and what I couldn't say, and it really made things hard when I was out and about trying to make business deals. Fortunately, after I found the right lawyer, things became a lot more straightforward. This blog is all about improving your life and streamlining your business with the help of a great lawyer. After all, you never know when you will find yourself in court.