When Pets Live Outside Us – County

What if your beloved pet lives outside of you? Discussing death, whether your own or a pet’s, is not pleasant. However, what happens to our pets if we die first is a concern that many people, especially those who are older, worry about.

If we have a spouse, we are sure that our beloved pet will be taken care of. However, if the surviving spouse is elderly, arrangements for ongoing care should be made. If we have children or very close friends, they often agree to take care of pets. However, we really want to make sure they are sincere. Often family or close friends make promises to be kind, but are unwilling to follow through when needed.

According to PetPlace.com, there is one very safe way to ensure your pet is taken care of after you die, and that is to create a trust. A trust is a legal entity where you hold your money to be used for a specific purpose. In this case, it is for the care of your pet.

Pet experts advise that it’s important to have an attorney who understands your trust needs. The cost of preparing this type of trust is minimal as it is not a complicated matter.

When setting up a trust for your pet it is very important to choose a trustee who will care for your pet in the way you would like. A trustee can be a person or an organization, but it is important to discuss all issues regarding your pet/pets so that you are satisfied about their care in the event of your death. . It is recommended that a backup caregiver be chosen in case the trustee becomes incapacitated or dies.

Adequate funds (principal) will need to be kept in the trust to cover the annual costs of food, grooming and veterinary care. Also, include the number of pets and their life expectancy, which is also used to calculate the amount needed for principal. The term of the trust can be for the life of your pet, or if there is more than one, the life of the last pet to die or 21 years, whichever is earlier.

If the money remains in trust after the death of the animal, a decision needs to be made as to who received it. Generally, a trustee must be compensated for the care provided. So the funds can go to trustees or a backup person.

There is a concern that if the trustee is to receive the funds left in the trust, the pet may die before that. That’s a scary thought to me, and that’s why it’s so important to choose a trustee and backup person very carefully.

For the trustee to include a certain annual fee in the trust, and then give the remainder of the trust to a specific animal shelter seems like an ideal solution to me. Again, these are just my thoughts on the matter.

Please visit us at the Central Aroostook Humane Society at 24 Cross Street, Presque Isle. We have many loving cats and dogs in desperate need of a loving home. Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Carolyn Chaney is a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society Board of Directors.

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