My Legal | When a Pet Passes

This article and other legal blogs have been shared by the attorneys of Willingham & Cote PC law firm.

If you are anything like me, your pets are much more than personal property. They are your “fur babies.” The responsible pet owner can make arrangements for the care of a pet when incapacity or death occurs by creating and funding a Pet Trust combined with a Durable Power of Attorney for Pet Care.

Pet Trusts

A Pet Trust allows the pet owner to make arrangements for their pet’s future needs. In a Pet Trust, the pet owner can designate funds, and the income generated by these funds, if any, for veterinary care, food and shelter as well as the licensing of their pet. The owner is also able to designate the person who will take physical care of their pet – the Pet Trustee.

Durable Power of Attorney

The Durable Power of Attorney portion of the Pet Trust allows the owner to provide the Pet Trustee with instructions for end of life decisions for their pet. This includes the power to direct that the pet is kept comfortable and as free of pain as possible and for the life of a pet to be mercifully and artificially terminated in the event of a terminal illness or condition of the pet. The pet owner can even specify the disposition of the remains of the pet upon its death. A pet funeral if you will.

Meet Tinkerbell

tinkerbell My Legal | When a Pet PassesI’d like to introduce you to Tinkerbell – my “Tink” or sometimes – my little “Stinkerbell!” I adopted her from the Ingham County Animal Shelter on December 7, 2014, when she was a year old. It was the best $100 dollars I have ever spent.   Tinkerbell quickly adapted to her status as my “baby girl” (or – if I am being honest: “the boss”). She has brought enormous joy to my life. I’ve made sure that my Tink will be cared for in the manner in which she has become accustomed (i.e., spoiled) by including a Pet Trust in my own estate plan.

To discuss a future plan for your “fur baby,” please contact Ms. Heather Gilkey.

Written by Heather Gilkey


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