Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Caring for pets after passing away

New York residents may want to make sure that their pets are cared for after their owners pass on. This may be done by adding instructions to a living trust or to a specialized pet trust. It can also be a good idea for pet owners to carry cards that alert others to the presence of their animals. This may prevent a scenario in which an animal is left alone for hours or days after their owners die or become incapacitated.

Animals that are left alone for a significant amount of time can become stressed or anxious. They may also be at risk for going hungry or becoming dehydrated. If a pet owner dies, a trust can include instructions for who should care for the animal and how. The trust is funded by the individual who creates the document and overseen by a trustee.

Alternate caregivers can be named if the original is unable to adequately look after a dog, cat or other type of pet. Furthermore, it may be possible to proclaim that the animal be adopted by another person or family after its current owner passes away. While similar instructions could be put into a will, those instructions wouldn't be put into effect for weeks or months due to the length of the probate process.

Wills and trusts can be powerful tools that help to protect a person's interests both while alive and after death. A living trust may help to ensure that an individual's financial and medical needs are met to his or her satisfaction. Those who own animals may be able to use these documents to provide quality care for their animals as well. An attorney may explain the process of creating a trust and how to use it to care for a pet.

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