Once an elderly pet owner has made short-term arrangements for their pet, has written the explicit arrangements down and discussed them thoroughly with a caregiver, child, friend or neighbor, it is time for them to consider notating long-term estate plans for their furry companion. These long-term arrangements will help them feel as though they are fully prepared and will help them to sleep better at night.
To ensure that your pet’s needs are met, it is best to notate the estate plans with an attorney. The legal ramifications will duly be noted and no one can legally take matters into their own hands.
Most likely the lawyer will discuss your options, but to ensure the health and safety of a pet, the best bet for an elder is to choose a living trust. Living trusts avoid probate, unlike that of a will, and they take effect immediately upon the elder’s death.
Wills ordinarily end up in probate; a judge usually assigns an executor to the will if one is not designated. There will of course be probate fees, but if someone does not feel that the elder has been fair, they could contest (challenge) the will, who becomes executor, etc. and the pet is stuck waiting for matters to be settled before funds become available for their care.
To view options, check out the “Illinoi Code for Pet Trusts 760 ILCS 5/15.2. This will be discussed more in depth as the days progress.
Just keep in mind that if you are a caregiver, it is good to study up on these things as time allows. The more you know, the more you will be able to help your senior pick and choose the right options for them and their pet. Let them know that you understand that With Age Comes Respect and that you want to make certain others realize it as well.