What happens to my pets if I am no longer around to care for them? Well, many people think that they can give their pets to a friend. For a very few of us, that is true. What about for the rest of us? In CA, pets are deemed to be property/gifts. However, you can establish Pet Trusts.
If done, then the trustee will be bound to do whatever is necessary for their benefit because this would be the purpose of the trust.
Unlike some other states, where there are a maximum number of years by which the Pet Trust can be effect (New York has a 21 year statute); California does not follow this principle. This means that the trustees you as the creator of the trust assign can care for your animals for the duration of their lives.
The best part is you can assign multiple trustees in succession to follow the same purpose, which is to benefit the animals. So, whether you have a Maltese, or a Beagle that can live up to 20 years like me, you will have the peace of mind to know that they are safe because you have a list of people that would be ready to take responsibility if one person on the list cannot. Through your trust, the trustees will have access to the money you left to care for your pets. This makes life much easier for the trustees because there is minimal to no financial burden, and gives you an action plan for when you are not around. Pet Trusts benefit all of your pets from cats and dogs, to fish and hamsters.
Where can you get a trust? A law office, like ours, that specializes in trusts should be able to assist you. The pricing of Pet Trusts vary, but should not be any more than a normal trust. These types of trusts are called Inter Vivos Trusts because they are made during your lifetime as the creator. The purpose of this particular Pet Trust is to provide care for your pets at the time of your demise. Within the trust itself, if your pet should die and there is money that remains in your trust, you can use that remaining money to benefit organizations that protect animals if you desire.
When people think of trusts, they think of protecting their family and their assets. Your pet is part of your family too and should be protected as well! For more information on Pet Trusts, please contact our office at the number listed below. It would be our pleasure to assist you!
Maneesh Sharma, Partner
The Law Office of Sharma Kliche
Phone: 1.800.906.6145 or 714.642.3838
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