Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thoughts on animal trusts

After dragging my feet for exactly one year, tomorrow marks the day where I'll finally be executing a new will that includes a pet trust in accordance with Florida's Animal Trust Law.

While my three cats are going to be sadly disappointed when they run into Trouble the $12 million pooch (rumored to be in Florida according to the NY Post), the trust will at least provide for their food, care and vet bills for as long as the live. Anything that's leftover is scheduled to go to animal charities. Often people forget to plan for their pets in their estates and the results may be beloved family pets ending up in the pound.

People considering these types of trusts may also want to include a provision that gives the caregiver and trustee guidance as to what to do as pets reach the end of their lives. Along these same lines, a recent CNN article on aging pets weighs the difficulty of measuring quality of life and continued treatment. The article also mentions pet hospice programs such as the Argus Institute at Colorado State University, Angel's Gate in Fort Salonga, New York, and Pawspice for terminally ill pets in the Los Angeles area.

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