Many people in Massachusetts have pets such as dogs or cats that they consider family members. Although our furry friends don’t have life expectancies as long as we would like, it is possible to be outlived by a pet.
While a pet owner would like to think that someone would step in and care for the pet if need be, that unfortunately doesn’t always happen. After all, no one loves a pet as much as its owner. Luckily, Massachusetts residents who care deeply about a pet can include the pet in their estate plans.
Some people attempt to provide for their pets by setting aside money in their will for the care of the pet. The will might also name a new guardian for the pet. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the pet owner’s wishes will be met.
The will could go through probate for a significant length of time, effectively putting the ownership of the pet in limbo. The pet could be tossed around from place to place or even potentially end up in a shelter while the court sorts out the matter.
The good news is that this nightmare can be avoided by creating a pet trust. Since 2011, it has been possible to make sure that a pet is taken care of in the event of the owner’s death by creating a trust that sets aside funds to cover the pet’s food, housing and medical needs.
A pet trust also involves naming a person to act as a trustee to oversee the care of the pet. The trustee is given a legal duty to make all of the important decisions regarding the care and living arrangements for the pet.
When Massachusetts residents consider their dog, cat or other animal to be more than just a pet and truly a member of the family, a pet trust can provide them with the comfort of knowing that their furry family member will be taken care of no matter what.
- For more information on how our firm works with Massachusetts residents to protect their beloved pets, please visit our Boston Pet Trust Lawyers page.