Orlando Pet Trusts Attorney
Planning for what will happen to you and your family because of disability or death is what we do at the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate. This planning should cover all members of your family, including your fur babies.
Providing Through Your Pet Through a Pet Trust
What will happen to your fur baby, if something happens to you? This is a question that should be considered by all pet owners. People like to believe they will always be here to take care of their pets, but far too often this is not the case. If a person becomes incapacitated or dies without addressing the needs of their pets, the outlook for the pet may be grim.
Thankfully, this doesn’t have to happen! In Florida, trusts aren’t only for humans. Under Florida law, a pet can be a beneficiary of a trust, something that isn’t allowed in all states. A pet trust functions no differently than a regular trust: you place assets in the trust and name a trustee to administer those assets according to your directives. Overall, the trust is a legally binding document that ensures a caretaking system is in place for your pets and funds are available their care.
The trust can provide specific instructions for your pet’s living arrangements, health care, diet, recreation, exercise, and even burial plans. You can direct that your fur babies are taken care of exactly as you would have done.
How to Fund a Pet Trust
As an active animal advocate in the community, Shea A. Fugate has often been told by people that they can’t create a trust for their pet because they don’t have a lot of extra money to put into a trust now. The truth is you don’t need to have a great amount of money sitting around to establish the trust. There are several ways to fund a pet trust, including making the trust a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or even a portion of that policy. We are happy to discuss ways to fund the trust for your fur baby.
Why Not Use a Will to Protect My Pet?
A Will does not adequately protect your pet for several important reasons:
- Under a Will your pet is considered property, like a lamp or a chair, and you cannot leave money to property.
- Specific instructions in your Will about your pet will not be enforceable by the Courts. A court cannot demand that your dog be bathed once a week or fed particular food.
- Probate of a Will is often lengthy and can be contested. The needs of your pet cannot wait for a court to probate a will. A Trust becomes effective immediately.
- A Will cannot control the disbursement of funds for the pet.
- A Will is only effective upon your death, and does not address your pet’s care if you become incapacitated.
Fur babies are cherished members of our families, and, like any loved one, should be part of your estate planning. Contact the Orlando pet trust attorney at the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate to discuss all of your options.