Attorney: Remember Your Pets In Your Will
|By Jackie Jadrnak, Albuquerque Journal, N.M.|
If you are rushed to the hospital with a medical emergency, if you are incapacitated or die, what will happen to your critters?
"Most people never think about it," the
In some cases, it might mean pets left alone without food or water for days, or even weeks, if the person is living alone, she said. Or it could mean a pet taken to the shelter, perhaps euthanized if no one adopts it.
"Everyone should carry a pet ID card with them," Deasy said, adding that people could make one of their own or get one from the local or national
The same information, along with medical needs and other requirements for their pets, can be kept in a prominent place in the home, perhaps on a dining room table, she said.
A lifelong animal lover, Deasy said she spent the first 15 years of her career in
Both for pay and as a volunteer, she said, she has provided some services for local animal rescue organizations. Part of her work has involved estate planning for your companion animals.
But you have to be careful not to overfund the trust. "If you put your
That brings to mind hotel owner
That's still probably way more than you would have to allocate to your pets, unless they've been living like billionaires.
In any case, Deasy said she has charts to help estimate expenses.
Such a trust usually designates a trustee, who oversees the paying out of the money, and a caretaker, who will provide the home and care for the pet. Deasy says she suggests the trust designate, in order of preference, three people for each position, since people sometimes say after the fact that they really don't want to take care of the animal.
If you can't afford to set up a trust -- a lawyer may charge from
If you don't have a trust, that's the only other legally enforceable document to provide care for your animals, she said.
But, if nothing else, at least carry a pet ID card with names and numbers of people who can get into your house and will take care of your pets, she advised.
"The biggest thing is to think about these things and then take action," Deasy said. "Start talking with friends and relatives. Usually something can be worked out."
(c)2012 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
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