Understandably, pet owners consider their pet(s) to be part of the family. However, for estate planning purposes, pets and animals have no legal status as persons and are instead considered property. Nevertheless, there are ways to ensure your pet is properly cared for when you pass away. Rather than instructing your estate trustee to set aside money in trust for your pet, the proper approach is to instruct your estate trustee to deliver a fixed amount of money to a person you choose to care for your pet after your death. This person will then be required to agree in writing to provide lifetime care for the pet in order to receive the money, and if he or she dies before you or is unable or unwilling to care for the pet, the legacy lapses and falls into the residue of your estate.
For further information, please contact my office at your convenience (416) 549-5080