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December 8, 2016
July 5, 2017

Establish a Pet Trust to Ensure Your Loved Ones Continue to Live Well

Monica Dixon Perry

A recent Facebook post by Kate Corum, a member of the VMC, Inc. team, is behind my topic selection for this quarter’s newsletter.

Her post read as follows:

"A friend's recent medical situation has me thinking. Who will take care of your dogs should you require long term medical care or if you pass away? I think I know, but I should probably ask these people..."

Estate Planning has become a topic that is near and dear to my heart within the last 10 years, because my parents took the legal steps to get their “house” in order. As an only child, I appreciate having the peace of mind that if my parents are faced with a debilitating illness or when they pass away, I know their wishes precisely. It is all arranged to be on auto-pilot when that time comes.

I have lectured over last few years about estate planning in an attempt to better educate and inform veterinarians and their team members about getting their “house” in order. According to a new Caring.com survey, only 42 percent of U.S. adults currently have estate planning documents such as a will or living trust.

If you have a Pet Trust in place for your furry-loved ones, you can know that your wishes will be carried out and your pet will be well cared for in the event of your death or debilitating illness. Pet Trusts are extensions of your estate planning and should be prepared by an attorney that specializes in this area.  

According to Michigan State University’s Animal Legal & Historical Center, as of January 2017, all 50 states and the District of Columbia now have enacted pet trust laws. Clicking on the following link will provide the opportunity to learn more about each state’s specific pet trust laws. https://www.animallaw.info/content/map-states-companion-animal-pet-trust-laws.

And you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The following link provides great information for mapping out an action plan for establishing a pet trust. https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/wealth-management/estate-planning-for-pets 

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