Some Georgia residents have incredibly strong bonds with their pets, to the point they wish to take steps to ensure those animals are well cared for once the owners pass away. Wills and trusts are both options for creating a care plan for pets. These tools do require a level of advance planning, and should be considered at the time estate planning documents are drafted.
Providing guidance and support for pets in a will begins by selecting a trusted friend or loved one who is able and willing to care for a pet if the need arises. That designation may change over time due to shifting roles and responsibilities. For example, a friend who is passionate about animals and already has a bond with a pet might be a great option. However, if that friend has a baby soon after, she may no longer be willing to take on a pet that could pose a risk to her child. That's why it's important to revisit the issue every couple of years, at a minimum.
Trusts are another option, and have the benefit of creating more structure in financial support. A trust allows one person to be named as the pet's caretaker, while another can be named as the trustee and tasked with handling financial support. That's a good approach for pets that require expensive and involved care, like horses or certain dog breeds.
To learn more about how to ensure proper care for a beloved pet, sit down with a qualified estate planning attorney to discuss specific needs and goals. Whether through wills or trusts, there is a solution for virtually every set of circumstances. For many in Georgia, the peace of mind that comes with knowing a pet will be loved and cared for no matter what happens to the owner is very comforting.