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For dedicated pet owners, a living trust is a must

62 percent of American households have pets. From dogs and cats to alligators, America is a nation that enjoys pets. One thing most Kent residents know is that to take care of their beloved furry critters. From a full week vacation to a night out with friends, someone needs to look after the pets when the owners are gone. But what happen if the owners never come back? An untimely death of an owner has left many pets in animal shelters due to their owners failing to make provision for them in their living trust.

In today's society, just about half of Americans will create some sort of estate planning, including a last will or living trust for their loved ones. Surprisingly, 25 percent of those individuals will create some form of provisions for their pets. For many, this seems totally gratuitous but for a loving pet owner, leaving a pet to the hands of an animal shelter is the last thing they want. So what can be done? Just one paragraph in a living trust can ensure that a person's pets are properly taking care of when the owner dies.

Pets can be treated just like any other asset in a living trust. Having a pet trust specifies what is to be done upon the owner's death or disability. Many individuals will leave their pets to the care of a loved one or leave behind some money to insure they will be taken care of. A pet trust can also be modified at anytime. Just about every state, Washington included, has specific pet trust laws that make it easier to provide for them upon death.

Kent residents concerned about their pet's wellbeing upon death should consider setting up a living trust for them. An attorney may provide most of the answers and help for any individual willing to create a pet trust.

Source: Huffington Post, "Pet Trusts: Should You Leave Money to the Family Dog?" Suzanna de Baca, April 4, 2013

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