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Pepperdine University School of Law

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hirschfeld on Estate Planning for Pets and Their Owners

Rachel Hirschfeld (Pet Trust Lawyer) has published Ensure Your Pet's Future: Estate Planning for Owners and Their Animal Companions, 9 Marq. Elder's Advisor 155 (2007).  Here is part of the Conclusion:

For a substantial number of pet owners, it is important to secure their animals' continued care with careful estate planning. Today, pet owners can take a number of steps in the estate planning process to ensure that animal companions are well-cared for under all circumstances. It is important for an owner to create a pet trust that includes detailed instructions for the care of all animal companions. The pet trust and pet protection agreement should name a pet guardian to take custody of the pet and follow the detailed instructions for the pet's care, and name a successor pet guardian, trustee and successor trustee. Furthermore, if the pet trust does not include instructions on how to convey future funds, sufficient funds should be transferred to the trust or agreement for the pet's care. Pet trusts and pet protection agreements are ideal tools to use to help owners and their pets remain together, to ensure that pets are well-cared for, and to establish procedures for legally transitioning pet ownership.

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