The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Pets and Estate Planning The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Pets and Estate Planning

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pets and Estate Planning

What happens if you die before your cat or dog? It’s a question being addressed increasingly as more people are including pets in their estate planning.

PETS ARE PROPERTY
In the eyes of the law pets are property. But ask any pet guardian – otherwise known as a pet  owner – if Fido or Fluffy is on equal footing with their other possessions and most will say ‘no.’ Increasingly, dogs, cats and other companion animals are the subject of bitter custody fights when couples divorce, and are gaining the upper paw when it comes to estate planning.

While the law classifies pets as property, it does recognize that they’re qualitatively different than, say, a sofa or nightstand or the ’69 Camaro you painstakingly restored. In fact, it’s a crime in all 50 states to abandon an animal, an issue brought into sharp and painful relief during the ongoing home foreclosure crisis. Many animals die when once-responsible owners feel they have no choice but to abandon their pets, falsely assuming that someone from the bank will quickly come to their animals’ rescue. Rarely is this the case and a once-beloved family member is literally left to die.

To read more on this story, click here: Pets and Estate Planning


/