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What to Know About Pet Guardianship
Pet owners will tell you that they consider their pet to be a member of their family. So, shouldn’t those beloved furry friends be part of your Estate Planning conversation? We think yes. Pet Guardianship, implementing a pet custody plan or a pet-nup ensures your pet will be cared for in the future. There are several options that help ease the worry about the care of your pet.
Are you a pet guardian or an owner?
This is a widely discussed topic among pet lovers, animal rights activists and public policymakers alike. Under current law, guardianship is reserved for people and ownership is reserved for animals. This means that your pet would be categorized the same as your car or TV in the event you pass away unexpectedly or without a plan in place.
There are several paths you can take to guarantee your pet’s comfort and happiness when you are gone. The simplest way to ensure the long-term well-being of your pet is to include them in your Will or Trust. You can then appoint a reliable caregiver (typically a friend or family member). Then leave the caregiver a sum of money dedicated to caring for your pet.
Pet Guardianship/Power of Attorney
Another plan of action while you plan for your pet’s future care is electing a Power of Attorney. By designating a Power of Attorney you are authorizing another person to handle all your affairs, including making arrangements for your pet, in the event you become incapacitated.
Creating a Pet Trust is also a viable option. A pet trust is a legally sanctioned arrangement providing for the care and maintenance of one or more companion animals in the event of a grantor’s disability or death.
If you are divorcing or considering divorce and own a pet jointly with your spouse, talk with an experienced Illinois family law attorney about your options under the law and how best to move forward. Legally binding “pet-nups” are becoming a more common practice with pet owners. Like a pre-nup, a “pet-nup,” is a premarital agreement that covers what the couple will do in the event of a divorce or separation.
Anthony J. Madonia & Associates, Ltd. wants to provide you with general information about the law and taxes, a professional opinion with a personal touch. Please feel free to contact us for more information, or if you need legal firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 578-9300.