Many New Jersey residents have pets in their households. To these animal lovers, their pets are truly members of the family. Unfortunately, these are family members who are often forgotten about when going through the estate planning process.
Not everyone cares to leave anything to their pet when they die, but some may want to make sure the animal is placed in a good home. There is nothing wrong with that. If one has specific wishes for what should be done with their beloved pet, it is possible to provide instructions in an estate plan. For those who wish to do so, it is also possible to ensure that funds to care for the animal are also set aside.
The Karl Lagerfeld case has brought this issue to life over the last few weeks. The famed designer died mid-February and is said to have left millions to his cat. He is not the first person to do this and will not be the last. One does not have to have millions to ensure a pet is taken care of after one dies. This is not an option left only to the rich and famous; anyone can take steps to pass money or other assets on to their pets.
Estate planning covers a lot of ground. Yes, it is about personal protection in the event of incapacitation, but it is also about making sure all of a person's loved ones are taken care of in the event of one's death. Pets do not have to be excluded from that list of loved ones just because they are not human. New Jersey residents who wish to include their pets in their estate plans can turn to legal counsel for guidance on the best way to do it.