Several legal options exist in Iowa for ensuring the future care of pets that outlive their owners, although estate planners say it’s still rare that pet owners use them.
Pets are legally considered property, so an owner can designate a recipient in a will. It’s the most obvious solution, but it’s not without drawbacks.
For example, revising a will every time a pet is acquired or dies costs money. (To avoid that expense, D.J. Smith, a Cedar Rapids attorney specializing in probate law, said the pet owner can simply write a separate letter of instruction to the administrator of the estate on what to do with the animal.)
A will also takes time to go through probate, leaving the animal’s status uncertain during that period.
And even though the document can stipulate that a certain person receive a pet, Smith said, it cannot force that person to keep or care for the animal.
What do you think? Would you consider setting up a trust fund in your will to ensure care for your pet?
Comments are closed.