Published by Oliver Taylor
My name is Oliver Taylor, and I am a Quality Control Specialist at Taylor Financial Group (however, I do my best work from home). Today, I tested the quality of the Taylor family’s recently acquired carpet, and I am pleased to report that this new horizontal scratching post works perfectly (it helped sharpen my claws to fine points)! I am also a burgeoning writer of The Cat Column, your favorite feline-focused news feature.
You may remember my column from hits like “Oliver Admits His Feelings” and “Audra’s 3 Safety Tips for College Students” (feel free to check those articles out if you have not already)! Regardless, I have a bigger issue to confront in this week’s Cat Column, and that is… my human’s mortality.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “Oliver, why are you worrying about your human’s mortality?” Well, it is very simple. I have done the math. Humans have 1 life, and cats have 9 lives!!! For my mathematically challenged readers, this means that I have 8 more lives than my favorite human. So, what is the solution? I, Oliver Taylor, need to make sure that my favorite human has an estate plan that takes care of me! In fact, all humans should have estate plans to ensure that their favorite pets are taken care of in the event of a tragedy.
The first thing to note is that from a legal perspective, pets (even super smart ones like me) are considered tangible personal property (like your laptop or your furniture). Here are the 2 things that you should do to ensure that your pets are covered in an appropriate estate plan.
- Choose A CaretakerBegin by selecting someone to take care of your pet(s) if something happens to you. The person that you trust to care for your pet can be anyone from a spouse to a friend. Make sure to discuss your wishes with this person, and ensure that they agree to assume responsibility for your pet. If no one in your life can care for your pet, consider a local or national charitable or humane organization.
- Write It Down
Once you know who will care for your pet, put your wishes into writing. Depending on your specific circumstances, you will likely want to use either a Will or a Pet Trust to record your wishes.
Using your Will to leave your pet to someone can be as simple as including a statement like: “I leave my dog, Fluffy, to my friend Rubeus Hagrid.” This statement is legally binding and determines that Hagrid will inherit Fluffy. However, once the new owner inherits the pet, there is nothing to prevent them from dropping the pet off at a shelter in the future, so make sure that you trust the person will care for your pet long-term.
Compared to simply naming an inheritor of Fluffy in your Will, a Pet Trust attempts to thoroughly address the issue of your pet’s care by setting aside money for your furry companion. Trusts identify your pet by name, label a caretaker, name a trustee to manage any saved money, and determine the type of care your pet would receive.
Regardless of whether you choose to name a inheritor in your Will or set up a pet trust, the important thing is that you ensure your pet will be taken care of if you are gone. If you would like to discuss your options further, we encourage you to contact the Taylor Financial Group Team for more assistance.
Till next time,