Our pets are often considered members of our family, similar to our children. They provide unconditional love and we love them back. That’s why we take steps to take good care of them. But what happens if they outlive us? While it may be difficult to imagine, it’s important to know that our pets will be well taken care of even after we’re gone. Luckily, there are many ways that you can do just that through your estate plan.
One way that you can ensure the care of your pet is through a pet trust. In Rhode Island, you can set up a trust for the care of your animals even after you’re gone. These trusts can include funds for the care of the animal. However, Rhode Island still views pets as property, leaving them unable to inherit any property. Therefore, while you can’t leave property in the trust for your pet, you can leave property in the trust to be sold, with the money used for their care.
The trust can also include how you wish your pet to be cared for: what you want them to eat, what their daily routine looks like, and what their veterinary care will consist of. You may also include contingencies for what should happen if the designated caregiver dies or is unwilling or unable to take the animal. You can include funds within the trust for finding the pet a new home.
When you are gone, the biggest concern for your pets is who will love and care for them. Through your will or trust, you can designate someone whom you wish to do so. It’s important that you give this a lot of thought and choose someone trustworthy, responsible, and loving. It should be someone who you know will honor your requests, caring for them in the manner you desire. The best thing is to speak with the person with whom you are interested in leaving your pet. That way, you can ensure you are on the same page and can choose someone else if need be.
Rhode Island allows for the trust to apply to an animal alive during the trustor’s lifetime and to extend until the death of the animal. Additionally, the pet trust must not be for anyone other than the pet itself. If the trust is found to be unreasonable, it can be challenged and found invalid.
PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with Their Estate Planning Needs
At PALUMBO LAW, our knowledgeable Rhode Island Estate Planning attorneys understand Rhode Island estate planning laws and will work strategically to help our clients achieve their goals and desires. If you are in need of a comprehensive estate plan or any associated documents, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!