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    Joshua and Laura Meier Newport Beach Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys Focused on Helping Families with Young Kids
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    Category Archives: Pet Trusts

    Large Animal – Large “Pet Trust”

    A pet trust, which ensures care for the horse if the owner gets sick or dies, is often the best way to ensure the horse’s care.

    Trusts can be remarkably powerful tools to provide for all members of the family, especially the ones most in need of care. This includes four-legged family members that stand “16 hands tall” and are adept at dressage. Yes, trusts can be an essential part of your “horse care” plan, as recently highlighted in The Wall Street Journal article, Stable Value: Putting Your Horse In A Trust.

    Horses are not “pets” in the classical sense, as their needs are far greater than those of the family dog or cat. Not only does a horse enjoy a longer life-span, but horses require more wide open spaces, exercise, care, grooming and food. The upkeep on a horse can be rather expensive.

    Through a pet trust you can set aside sufficient funds to provide for your horse’s unique needs and ensure his care and safety should you predecease him. Even more significant, you can establish important safeguards to ensure proper deployment of those funds.

    Of course, one of the biggest challenges is selecting the proper caretaker of your horse. Would a trusted loved one be willing to serve? Do not assume that charities, shelters or “rescues” would step in to care for your horse. Recent financial difficulties affecting the broader economy have likewise strained the ability for charities and horse shelters to care for horses currently under their care.

    Unfortunately, pet trusts are not recognized in every state, but the problem still remains. If you are a horse owner, then your horse is an important member of your family and you must plan accordingly.

    To learn more about your state laws and the alternatives open to you (and your horse), be sure to seek competent counsel.

    For more information and ideas I recommend reading the original Wall Street Journal article. Be sure to share it with your equestrian friends, too.

    Reference: The Wall Street Journal (March 7, 2012) “Stable Value: Putting Your Horse in a Trust

    Pet Trusts Provide Peace of Mind

    The four-legged members of a household (or two-legged, or conceivable even eight, as the case may be) are undoubtedly special members in any home. Accordingly, proper planning ought to address them as well.

    Whatever the size of your pet and whatever the size of your family, it’s simply not always enough to leave these matters for your heirs to figure out. After all, the well-being of your animal (i.e., your friend and companion) is at stake and so it’s worth considering legal devices to provide for them, such as a pet trust.

     In a way, the idea of a “pet trust” is a natural one and yet it’s also not always common. Deborah Jacobs recently tackled the subject over at Forbes and her article certainly is worth a look. In its basic formula, a pet trust is like any other trust in its formation, however, it is designed to take care of the member of the family that can’t take care of itself (nor speak to which home it will move to upon its owner’s passing).

    While that can be meaningful for many pet-owners, there also is reason for the elderly to pay special attention to the prospect, as another article over at the New Old Age Blog points out, here.  For the elderly, especially, a pet can be an incredibly important family member and one for whom planning can be all the more important. Why? The pet may outlive its owner. In the end, a pet trust may afford important protection and care for the pet, as well as peace of mind to the owner.

    For more information, visit Meier Law Firm today.

    Laura K. Meier, Esq.

    Reference: Forbes (February 14, 2012) “If You Love Your Dog (Or Cat Or Gerbil), Read This” and The New York Times – The New Old Age Blog (February 3,2012) “The Pet Problem

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