As many Oklahoma residents know, an estate plan is a vital part of any person's preparation for death. Furthermore, since the inevitable end of our lives can happen at a time when we least expect it to, it is best to prepare your estate now rather than waiting until it is too late. Generally, individuals create their estate plans and irrevocable trusts for the benefit of their family members and heirs; however, it may also be beneficial to consider your pets needs too.
Passing your pets on to be cared for by a specific person following your death and/or incapacitation is a relatively simple matter to address in a last will and testament, but for those who have the financial capacity to fund a special pet trust, this strategy may be the better way to go. Indeed, a trust can be funded so that all of a pet's financial needs are covered until the end of its life. Then, at the time of your pet's death, the remainder of the trust can be disbursed to a designated charity of your choice.
When creating a pet trust, it will be necessary to select a trustee, who is in charge of the dispensation of the trust funds for the care of the pet, in addition to the pet's future guardian. Although these two roles can be fulfilled by the same person, it is better that two separate people be chosen as trustee and caretaker. Indeed, when two separate individuals are selected, the trustee will have the ability to ensure that the trust's funds are indeed spent on the pet and not spent on the caretaker's personal needs.
At Derryberry & Naifeh, LLP, we are dedicated to the needs of our clients, and we are also pet lovers. As such, we want to make sure that our Oklahoma clients have covered every single aspect that is required for a successful estate plan, and that does not exclude the needs of their pets. Considering how much our pets give us in life, is there any reason why we should not consider creating irrevocable trusts to ensure they are cared for after we leave them behind?