This Is How to Plan If Your Pet Is Family

I went camping with my family (my wife Jenna and our dog Liberty) over Memorial Day weekend. We stayed at River Creek Campground, a delightful place just outside Lake Lure, North Carolina. Yes, the place where Dirty Dancing was filmed. Because my wife is apparently the only person from our generation that missed that movie as a child, we didn't spend much time scouting the filming locations. Instead we hiked to Bradley Falls on Saturday and spent Sunday paddling the lake. It is a lovely area and we look forward to going back.

Each time we pack up the car and spend  a few days outside, I'm reminded what a big part of the family Lib has become (Did you grab the leash? Food? What about her bed?) It will be two years in August since we rescued her (I always feel a little silly saying we "rescued" her, as if she were drowning and I put my life in peril to save her. The real heroes in the rescue game are the people with the Greater Charlotte SPCA, who work tirelessly to save lives.) Being such a great travel companion, we rarely travel without her anymore. Although, she still holds a slight grudge over leaving her for our two-week honeymoon.

Taking Selfies while the captain and first mate get us out of a jam

Taking Selfies while the captain and first mate get us out of a jam

The point is, she's more than a pet to us, she's part of the family. And, as part of the family, I'm concerned about her welfare if I wasn't here to take care of her anymore. Who would she live with? Who would make sure she got her shots? Do they even know what vet she was going to? These concerns are very real. Every year in the United States family pets are abandoned or euthanized because no one is there to care for them. That's why we decided to create a Pet Care Trust for Lib and our felines, Bodhi and Ivy. The Pet Care Trust gives us the peace of mind that our furry family, that has provided us so much comfort and companionship, will be cared if and when we're no longer able. 

A pet care trust is created to provide continued care for a pet. The trust can provide assets as well as personalized instructions on how the pets should be cared for and who should provide the care. Pet care trusts can be particularly valuable if you own pets that may be strenuous and/or expensive to care for such as horses, exotic fish, or birds. A couple things to keep in mind when contemplating a Pet Care Trust: 1) name a guardian that you have previously discussed the Pet Care Trust with and has agreed to provide care for them, and 2) consider naming a trustee other than the guardian. Sometimes even the most well-intentioned person may begin to feel entitled to more than agreed upon after caring for Fido and Leo for a few years. 

by the way my name is liberty Line

by the way my name is liberty Line

As always, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message with any questions. And, don't hesitate to forward this to anyone that may have questions about protecting their pooches and other pets. Learn more about Pet Care Trusts by: Booking a Private Consultation or Clicking Here for more estate planning advice, informational videos and articles, as well as a copy of my new Ebook Six Things to Know Before Making a Will or Living Trust.  

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Robert Ingalls

I am the founding member of Ingalls Law, PLLC. My practice focuses primarily on Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, and Workers' Compensation. I graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science, and received my law degree three years later. I have been admitted to the North Carolina State Bar and the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. I represent clients in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers' Compensation, Employment Discrimination, and Personal Injury. I have also represented employees and employers in hundreds of unemployment benefits hearings throughout North Carolina. In addition to my law practice, I am an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Mecklenburg County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, and The North Carolina Advocates for Justice.