You can provide for the care of your pet after you are gone. You can name the person, and any successor person as the Trustee to care for your pet. Included in your trust plan is funding for veterinary care, medicine, housing and food for your beloved pet for the rest of its life. You can also direct your Trustee to take advantage of advanced veterinary diagnostic tests, treatments and surgeries. You can set aside funds for your Trustee’s use for these services as well as to address the disposition of your pet’s remains by euthanasia when their time comes. You can also compensate your Trustee for their time and efforts on behalf of your pet. The trust lasts for the lifetime of your pet. If you become incapacitated, disabled or are absent for long periods your trust can provide for the care of your pet. You can also provide for the care of more than one pet in one trust.
You do not have to euthanize your healthy pet at the end of your life. If you think you can require your pet be “put to sleep” at your death and buried with you, think again. Virginia law does not allow a commercial cemetery to bury any pet remains in a casket with a person. (See Va Code Section 54.1-2310.) Note: a private or family cemetery may be allowed to bury your pet remains with you.
In 2012 the Virginia legislature passed a law that recognized the desire people have to care for their beloved pets after they are gone. An attorney can help you select the right form of trust and make sure your desires for the care of your pet are properly stated. To get started, you need to identify two people to serve as trustees; one as primary and one as the alternate to serve if the first person cannot. Research the possible cost to provide for your pet’s annual upkeep and the expected life expectancy for their breed. Think about critical care options you want to have available for your pet in case they become ill or disabled and investigate the cost of treatment and diagnostic tests. A financial advisor can discuss options for funding the trust arrangement that you think is best.
At Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC we all love our pets and support our local rescue shelters. We can help you have peace of mind that if anything happens to you, your pet will be cared for according to the plan you design. Call us to set an appointment to discuss what you can do. #Loved2Death