top of page
Search

WILLS VS TRUSTS

As they relate to your Pets




WILLS


A WILL-is a legal document that states how to distribute your assets (property) upon your death.

Remember that pets are considered property by law.

 

The majority of people have a WILL.  Here are the usual reasons why:

·        It is quicker and easier for you and for your lawyer.

·        Lawyers often assume a will is sufficient in most cases; so if you don’t ask for them to set up a trust, they default to a will. 

·        The cost of a will is usually less than the cost of a trust.

·        You may have few assets and your family relationships are not complicated; again, if that is the case, lawyers usually recommend a will vs a trust.

·        Many people do not have the funds to provide for the care of their pets until after their death when their assets can be used for their pets.

How having just a will can adversely affect your Pet:

·        A will ONLY takes effect when you pass away….that means your pets are unprotected if you go into a nursing care facility or become otherwise unable to care for them.

·        The majority of wills go into probate which can last weeks or months….in that interim, who will care for your pets?

Perpetual Care offers you a solution or your Pets:

We provide pet owners with a PET LIFE CARE AGREEMENT which will protect your pets while you are still living.

A Pet Life Care Agreement is a simple contract between you as the pet owner and your primary and secondary caregivers.  No funds need to be designated although you can designate them as beneficiary in your will or trust as well as in the agreement.  The benefit of the Pet Life Care Agreement is that it takes effect immediately whereas your will takes effect only when you die.  Find a Pet Life Care Agreement on our website at www.perpetualcare.org/services.

 

NOTE: GOOD NEWS-YOUR WILL CAN BE FREE!

We also have GOOD NEWS regarding the cost of a will.  Perpetual Care works with FREE WILL (www.freewill.com) , an organization that is committed to ensuring that every person has access to having a will.  They provide legal support that meets the state requirements of every state and it truly is FREE!  Visit their website at www.freewill.com to get started.

 

 

 

LIVING TRUSTS


A TRUST-  is a legal document that allows you to create a separate legal entity, the trust, and retitle assets in the name of the trust during your lifetime. You, the grantor, designate a trustee to manage those assets on your behalf. A trust takes effect immediately while you are still living.

 

DO YOU STILL NEED A PET LIFE CARE AGREEMENT?

Regardless of whether you opt for a Trust or a Will I still recommend that you include a PET LIFE CARE AGREEMENT or PET TRUST in your estate documents.  A PET TRUST is the best protection you can give your pet because it takes effect immediately and it describes in detail what you want to happen with your pets.  It also designates a trustee to oversee your wishes.  You can designate your pets’ caregivers, you can designate funds for their care and you can describe how to care for them. 

PET LIFE CARE TRUST AGREEMENTS

A Pet Life Care Trust is an agreement between you as the pet owner and your primary and secondary caregiver and designates funds to the care of your pets.  Again, the benefit of the Pet Life Care Trust is that it takes effect immediately.

To request a copy of these agreements, visit our website at www.perpetualcare.org/services.

 

NOTE:  Revocable vs Irrevocable Trusts: 

A revocable trust can be changed or revoked at any time, while an irrevocable trust cannot be changed without beneficiary approval. 

Revocable trusts are generally easier to establish than irrevocable trusts, and they are less expensive and simpler. However, irrevocable trusts offer estate tax benefits that revocable trusts do not.  When the you pass away, your revocable trust becomes irrevocable.

 

NOTE: REMEMBER YOUR 2 OTHER KEY DOCUMENTS IN YOUR ESTATE PLAN

Just a reminder about the other key documents in your estate plan, which do not involve your pets, but are also important to have in your estate plan. 

·        Advance Directive- An advance directive (sometimes called a “living will” and is not the same as a living trust) is a document that outlines the kind of medical care you want if you are terminally ill. It should include identification of a healthcare representative or power of attorney for healthcare.

·        (Financial) Power of Attorney-The power of attorney for finances is a document that gives someone the authority to handle financial transactions on your behalf.  This is beneficial in case you have diminished capacity to handle your own finances.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page