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Home » Estate Planning » New Jersey estate planning: Taking care of your pet

Many New Jersey residents enjoy the companionship of animals. These loyal friends are there during some of the roughest times in life offering love, support and comfort. It is normal to want to make sure that one’s pet is taken care of in the event of one’s incapacitation or death. It is possible to do just that when going through the estate planning process by setting up a pet trust.

For pet owners, their animals are members of the family. They require love and they have basic needs that must be met. When a person is no longer able to care for his or her pet, the animal’s whole world may change. Many pets end up in shelters or abandoned when their owners are no longer in the picture. This does not have to happen, though.

Pet trusts are recognized in every state now. In this legal document, it is possible to give detailed instructions for how a family pet is to be taken care of. It is also possible to set aside funds specifically for the pet’s care. Pet trusts are legally enforceable. If the person designated to care for the animal is neglecting it or not using the funds to care for the animal, he or she may be removed from the trustee position and the pet, and accompanying money, given to someone else.

New Jersey residents who are concerned about what will happen to their pets can take steps to make sure they are protected. It does not take a lot of work to set up a pet trust. It is just a matter of sitting down, writing it out and funding the trust. This is something an experienced estate planning attorney can assist with.