Pets are not just animals who happen to share our homes – they are members of the family for many people. Unfortunately, while you may love your pets like your children, pets are not provided with the same protections under the law as people are. If you pass away and have not made provisions for your pets, your animals could be at grave risk.
The Potter Law Firm can provide help with pet planning to pet owners in North Carolina and Kentucky. By making an advanced plan with assistance from our legal team, you will have the peace of mind of knowing you’ve been a responsible pet owner and your animal companions will be kept safe always, even if you are no longer there to care for them.
To find out more about pet planning and about how an experienced attorney can assist with this process, give us a call at (704) 944-3245, (606) 324-5516 or (859) 372-6655. We can offer advice designed just for you and your animals and can also answer questions you may have about pet planning including:
- Why is pet planning important?
- What is involved in creating a pet plan?
- How can a pet planning lawyer assist you with your pet’s well being?
Why is Pet Planning Important?
Pet planning is essential to make sure your animal does not lose its life due to your unexpected incapacity or death. According to the ASPCA there are 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats surrendered to shelters annually, for a total of around 7.6 million surrendered companion animals. Of those surrendered, many do not survive. A total of 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized yearly. Of the dogs entering shelters, this means 31 percent are killed. Cats face a higher risk, with 41 percent being euthanized.
If your pet ends up in a shelter, adoption may be difficult or impossible – especially if your animal is older after having lived in a loving home with you for much of its life. Tragically many beloved pets do end up homeless and at risk as a result of their owner’s death. If you have not made a pet plan, your animal companions could be among those who face this fate.
Pet planning is important not only for seniors with pets, but also for younger pet owners as well. An untimely death or serious injury when you are young could send your family scrambling, and your grief-stricken loved ones may not be able to provide the appropriate home and care for your animals. Whatever your age, if you have a pet in your life, pet planning is something that you should do.
What is Involved in Creating a Pet Plan?
The pet planning process is a personal one, with some owners doing just the basics and others taking far more advanced steps. First and most importantly, your plan needs to involve naming a guardian who will take your pets into their home if something happens to you. You should actually have both a guardian and a backup guardian in case something unexpected causes your first-choice caregiver to be unable to assume the responsibility of animal care. This is something you should discuss with the chosen guardian(s), as you don’t want to surprise someone with a pet.
In addition to naming a caregiver, many pet owners will also include financial planning in their pet planning process. Animals are expensive, and you may want to provide financially for yours, even if you are not around to care for them.
Leaving money in your will is one approach, but not the best approach because you lose control over how these funds are managed and spent when you pass away. Trust creation is a better choice, as you can name a trustee and provide strict instructions regarding how the money is to be used to care for and enrich the life of your animal companion.
How can a Pet Planning Lawyer Assist with Your Pet’s Well Being?
A pet planning lawyer can provide you with assistance in including your pets in your estate planning or can provide only pet planning services, depending upon your goals. Your attorney will explain to you what kinds of legal tools you can use and what types of steps you can take to protect your animal companions.
The Potter Law Firm understands that pets are part of the family, which is why we offer pet planning help to clients in Kentucky and North Carolina. Give us a call at (704) 944-3245, (606) 324-5516 or (859) 372-6655 or contact us online to discover more about the pet planning assistance we can offer you.