Schedule A Consultation Today 425-333-2358

Helping You Plan Your Future And Solve Your Problems

View Our Practice Areas

How can estate planning protect a pet?


Many people in Washington have a cat, dog, bird or other animal companion. Having a pet can bring much joy to a person's life, as our pets provide us with companionship, comfort and unconditional love. With this in mind, as a person ages, they may have concerns about what will happen if their pet outlives them.

Legally, pets are considered to be an asset. So, while a pet may be a beloved family member, a person cannot simply leave money to their pet in their will. However, there are estate planning options for pet owners who wish to ensure that their pet is cared for should they become incapacitated or pass away.

One option is executing a pet trust. This type of trust will become effective once a person becomes incapacitated or passes away. In a pet trust, the owner can name a caregiver for his or her pet and a trustee. One individual can serve both as the caregiver and the trustee, but a person could choose to have a separate caregiver and trustee if they wish. In the trust, the pet owner will leave funds to the caregiver with instructions on how the pet should be cared for. These funds will be earmarked to be used for the care of the pet only. The funds can be either a lump sum payout or they can be made periodically.

Pet trusts are only one type of trust that are worth considering. Other types of revocable trusts exist that can help people pass their assets down to their chosen loved ones in a way that can bypass probate. The probate process can be lengthy and expensive, reducing the size of a person's estate. Moreover, when it comes to a pet, if the deceased person's estate is sent to probate, the pet will be treated no different than the sofa, television or other piece of property.

Making sure a pet is well cared for if the pet outlives them is important to most pet owners. No pet owner wants to see their beloved pet sent to a shelter if their pet outlives them.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Make Your Consultation Appointment

To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us

Kent Office
8407 S. 259th Street
Suite 203
Kent, WA 98030

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 253-852-0400
Kent Law Office Map

Kent Office

Spokane Office
505 W. Riverside Avenue
Suite 500
Spokane, WA 99201

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 509-769-0202
Map & Directions

Spokane Office