3275 South Jones Blvd., Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Take Care of My Best Friend When I Am Gone....
I recently underwent surgery. Since one of the potential complications of my surgery may have been death, it got me thinking about all of the things my husband would have to take care of in the event the worst happened. Luckily, the surgery was a resounding success and I am recovering nicely thank you as I am sitting here writing this blog from my computer at the office.
However, it did get me thinking about the inevitable someday, which led me to think about whom I would want to get all of my “stuff”. So as I started to take inventory, my thoughts drifted to my “four-legged friends”. I thought what about them, who would get them, who would take care of them, because as hard as it may be for you to believe, your “four-legged friend” is considered personal property in the State of Nevada. This means that when you die, if you have not provided different directions in your Will, your pet is given to your heirs in the same way as your car, bed, or any other tangible property. If you die without a Will then the family could end up fighting over who gets your four-legged friend, or in the worst case scenario no one would even want your four-legged friend and your four-legged friend could be left to fend for himself.
Ok you say, so how do I make sure this does not happen to your four-legged friend? There are several good ways to fix this problem and make sure that your pet is taken care of when you are unable to care for them. Though it is a good idea to have an a discussion and informal arrangement with your friends and family, the only surefire ways to make sure your pets are taken care requires the assistance of an attorney to draft a comprehensive estate plan.
In Nevada, there are two good ways to ensure your pet is taken care of when you die. The first, and easiest way, is to provide a clause in your will that states who you wish to take care of your pet (as well as an alternative person should the first person be unwilling or unable to provide that service). In this clause, it is generally a good idea to provide some money to any person that takes ownership of your pet. You can provide some instruction as to how the money should be used, however the money is paid directly to the new owner of your pet, so, legally, and the directions are merely suggestions.
A more advanced way to provide for the care of your pet is to provide instructions for the creation of a pet trust, or to have a living trust with specific instructions as to the care of your pet. This option lets you spell out exactly how you wish your pet to be taken care of, sets money aside for the specific care of your pet, and provides better guidelines for finding a caretaker if your primary caretaker is unavailable or unable to care for your pet.
Aside from our actual children, there are very few things we care about more than our pets. Every responsible pet owner should ensure that they have a good, legally enforceable plan in place to make sure that the animals that we love and care for are still taken care of when we are unable to do so. It will make you feel better, and your pet will definitely be happier for it as well.
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