California is one of the most pet-friendly states in the country. For many of us, our “fur babies” ARE family, a joyful part of our everyday lives. And just like family, their future care is an important responsibility. Many pet owners don’t know that without advanced planning pets who lose their owners will likely be taken to a public shelter, where the euthanasia rates are staggeringly high. Other family members may not be willing or able to take in the pets, due to personal financial constraints, allergies, or incompatible lifestyles.
Animal Care Trusts provide long-term financial support for your pets, so that they can be cared for in the way you would want, by a caregiver who you have chosen.
You can describe any important standards of care that you would want to guarantee for your pet, down to the brand of food they prefer or how often they should go to the vet.
Your Animal Care Trust will contain important information for your caregiver about your pets’ behavioral characteristics, likes and dislikes, and level of socialization.
Rest assured that funds left for animal care will be used for that purpose, by having a trustee manage the money and creating an Animal Care Panel to periodically check on your pets’ well-being.
LifeLadder’s founding attorney Kathryn Taps has made planning long-term care for companion animals a “pet project”. For that reason, Animal Care Trusts are a complimentary addition to any LifeLadder Estate Plan. You will be asked to complete a Pet Trust Worksheet, which outlines your wishes and standards of care for your pets. These instructions will then be incorporated into your Will or Trust.