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Protect Your Pets After You Are Gone

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Your Pets: A Part of the Family Thankfully, nearly all states recognize pet trusts as a valid part of your estate plan. In the event of your death or disability, you can provide for your pets by establishing a pet trust—an increasingly popular way to ensure the long-term health and happiness of your faithful companions. (Check with your estate planning attorney for the options available in your state.) When you create such a trust, you'll name someone as the physical caregiver, as well as someone to manage the trust's money. At the end of your pet's life, the trust will terminate and the balance of the trust funds can be distributed to your loved ones or a favorite charitable organization, such as ours. 6 Elements of a Pet Trust Consider the following elements when putting your pet trust together: • Identification. Identify the pets you would like cared for after your lifetime. You'd never go a day without feeding your cat. Nor would you leave on vacation without making careful arrangements for your dog. But have you ever thought about the fate of your beloved pets if something unexpected were to happen to you? Who Will Care for Your Pet if You Become Disabled? Create a pet trust now to become effective should you become disabled. This ensures your pet won't be neglected or given to an animal shelter if you are no longer able to care for it. Your designated caregiver can care for your pet under the provisions in your trust. This type of trust would require funding now so that a caregiver would have access to the trust funds should a disability occur during your lifetime. If you never face disability, the trust becomes effective upon your death.

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