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Trusts can provide for surviving loved ones -- even for pets

Pets have become loved ones of many New York families, and making sure they will continue to receive loving care if their owners should die or become incapacitated is something that can form part of estate planning. Trusts can be set up for dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, lizards, snakes, turtles and other pets -- not to forget a beloved horse or pony. A pet trust can ensure that funds are available for routine and emergency veterinary care, boarding, feeding, grooming costs and more.

Identifying the ideal person to serve as a trustee of a pet trust might be the most challenging part of establishing it, and it is essential to make sure that person would be willing to play the role. Would the trustee be the caregiver or would there be a separate person to care for the pet? Matters to consider when establishing pet trusts include the current living standards and level of care pets receive and the care a trustee would be expected to provide.

To estimate the costs of future care, knowing the life expectancy of the pet and any potential health issues it might develop as it gets older can help. The trust can specify what should happen to the pet's remains upon its death as well as to the remaining funds in the trust. A pet trust can ensure that the pet continues to get its favorite treats, and one that was used to being taken for walks will continue to do so.

Anyone in New York who has questions about ensuring care for beloved pets in case of the owner's death or becoming incapacitated can get answers from an estate planning attorney. A lawyer with experience in setting up pet trusts can provide valuable support and advice throughout the process. With such guidance, the pet owner can shape a trust that will cover all potential contingencies.

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