Newman Law Group

How can I transfer assets to Fido?

Some people cannot imagine their lives without the companionship and affection provided by the family pet. In order to show their love and appreciation for the pet, many people choose to include the pet in their estate planning. In California, it is possible -- with a little planning -- to transfer assets to provide for a pet's needs after one's own passing. 

First, many people will want to choose a beneficiary who will later become the pet's caretaker. This can be a trusted family friend or an organization that will provide for the pet's needs. A person may select the beneficiary in his or her will and provide money for the care of the pet, but this provision is not always enforceable. 

Enter the trust. A trust formed for the pet can provide for the pet's needs after one passes away and also allow the owner to set specific guidelines for the pet's care. If the pet has items of true value, the assets can be placed within the trust. It is more likely that the trust will simply hold some funds that can be used for the pet's basic needs, like food, shelter, veterinary care, etc. 

Many people wish to include their pets in their estate plan, and so they will need to transfer assets into a fund that will be used to ensure a happy, healthy life for the pet in the event of the inevitable. Some people in California may find it helpful to have outside help to create the trust for their pets. An experienced estate planning attorney will be familiar with local laws regarding the practice and will be able to offer help to the person who wishes to provide for a pet after he or she has passed away. 

Source: bravotv.com, "Should I Have a Financial Plan for My Pet: Estate Planning", Kristyn Pomranz, April 16, 2018

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