Can I Give My Pet Property In My Will?

Many of us consider our pets to be part of the family. It seems that you would want to make arrangements for your devoted furry companion if you pass away while creating an estate plan. For the benefit of their dear ones and dependents in the case of an unanticipated disaster, estate planning is advocated even for young people, and the same rationale applies to dogs. You can learn more here.

You will need to take a few precautions when including Fido in your will, though. Regardless of how we feel about them, pets are considered property in legal terms. This implies that you may easily leave instructions stating who you want to take care of when you pass away, but the matter gets more complicated when leaving your pet with assets.

Pets cannot inherit property directly since the law considers them property. The courts may substitute your residuary beneficiary if you try to leave property straight to your pet. The goal of establishing an estate plan is defeated if there is no residuary beneficiary. Instead, the property is distributed to persons in accordance with North Carolina’s intestacy laws, which control the default distribution of property if a person dies without a will.

Additionally, the probate procedure in North Carolina is typically required for wills, a drawn-out procedure during which the pet’s care may be jeopardized. Pet trusts are not covered by state law in every state, but thankfully North Carolina does.

A trust is a legal arrangement that your estate planning lawyer can set up that offers guidelines and funds for a certain intended use. You will have the option of appointing a competent, reliable individual to serve as trustee, who would manage the trust in case of your demise or incapacity. The pet’s carer need not be the trustee. To ensure everything is in order, go through the duties of the trustee and/or caretaker with your attorney.

Like so many humans, some pets may require special medical care that becomes more difficult as they age. These conditions include allergies, diabetes, dental concerns, musculoskeletal problems, and anxiety. To a person you know who would love your pet as their own. With monies designated for the animal or animals’ veterinarian care, food, medicine, and other care, you can specify explicit instructions for this care in a trust.

However, any remaining funds will be distributed in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement if the clerk of superior court judges that the amount of money in a pet trust is much greater than what is required or if there are monies in the trust after the final designated pet dies.