Pet planning for dog owners may seem like something that is really not important because dogs have much shorter lifespans than humans. This may be true, but what if you bring a dog into your home as an elder?
Dog ownership can be an ideal antidote for loneliness. As many of us are aware it is not uncommon for senior citizens to lose people close to them. They can subsequently feel quite a void in their lives. This can sometimes lead to depression.
It’s difficult to be totally down in the mouth when you have a dog around to cheer you up. In fact, studies have shown that dog ownership can in fact improve the mental health of seniors. Positive physical effects can be felt as well.
If you are convinced that you can improve your quality of life by adopting or purchasing a dog you may be reluctant because you are in fact concerned about dying first and leaving the dog behind.
This is where pet planning comes in.
It would be possible to leave the dog to someone when you are drawing up a last will. You could include a bequest to this individual so that there are financial resources available to provide for the pet.
What is difficult about the above is the fact that you don’t know exactly how much to give. And, you can’t be 100% certain about the actions that will be taken by the caregiver.
Another option would be to fund a pet trust for the benefit of the dog. Anything left over in the trust after the death of the dog would be inherited by the human beneficiary that you name in the trust agreement. And, the trustee that you name will administer the funds and make sure that the dog is cared for in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.