Making sure your pet’s future is secure starts with consulting a skilled and passionate animal law attorney. Peggy Hoyt, of The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, is more than just an experienced and highly respected estate planning lawyer. She is an animal lover, too. Over the course of her career, Peggy has helped countless pet owners throughout Florida and the U.S. with estate planning, elder law, estate administration (probate and trust) and pet trusts.
To create a comprehensive trust that provides for your pet after you are gone, be sure to assemble the following information:
- Pet’s identity — Start with your pet’s name, age, birth, breed (if applicable), and any other identifiable characteristics. This will ensure the right animal is located and taken care of after you pass away.
- Medical history — If you have medical records for your pet, make sure the trustee and pet caregiver are aware of your pet’s medical conditions as well as the location of any pertinent medical documents. This information should be kept in a safe but reachable location.
- Veterinarian info — In the event of an emergency, your pet’s caregiver needs to know what veterinarian to contact. It’s a good idea to create a dossier for your pet’s veterinarian that lists his or her name, office location, office number, and cellphone number (if available).
- Family members — While you may have the perfect caregiver picked out for your pet, you should also have some backups in case your chosen candidate refuses, gives up, or succumbs to illness or injury. List the names and contact info of any friends or family members you feel would be responsible and loving towards your pet. You can also consider sanctuaries or retirement homes for pets as an alternative.
- Estate planning documents — A pet trust is the best choice for the long-term care of your pet. Provisions in a will may not be sufficient under the law – you can’t leave a gift in your will for the benefit of a pet. Make sure all estate planning documents, including power of attorney, living trusts, and advanced directives are accessible, and explain your wishes regarding the care of your pet.
- Determine your pet’s new home — Be sure you clearly identify the person or facility who will provide long-term care for your pet after your death.
A well-thought-out pet trust can provide years of comfort and lifetime protection for your pet if you pass away or are incapacitated. At the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, we are passionate about helping Floridians secure the future of their animal companions. For more information on animal law and creating a pet trust for your nonhuman best friend, contact us today.