Estate Planning

Kinghorn Law focuses on Estate and Business Planning, Living Trusts, Trust Administration, and Long-term Care & Medicaid (ALTCS) Planning.

We counsel clients on the unique legal issues relating to advancing age. Whenever possible, we prefer to help clients plan for the future, avoid probate, minimize taxes, and solidify their legacy. We also help clients plan for possible incapacity and long-term care. We help our clients deal with issues of aging with independence and dignity.

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Estate Planning

Tucson Pet Planning

Pets are more than just furry creatures that live in your home. A Harris Poll conducted of 2,225 adults showed that 95 percent of pet owners consider pets to be members of their family.  If you view your pet as a beloved family member, you need to make provisions to care for this loved one, just as you would for any other family member. This means addressing what will happen to your pet if you become incapacitated or pass away.

At Kinghorn Law we can help you create a plan that protects your pet in case you pass away or can otherwise no longer care for them.  Give us a call at (520) 529-4000 to make an appointment to talk with a Tucson pet planning lawyer about why you need a pet plan and what your plan should include. You can get personalized advice and answers to questions you have about the pet planning process including:

  • Why do I need a pet plan?
  • What should be included in your pet plan?
  • How can a Tucson pet planning lawyer help?

Why Do I Need a Pet Plan?

If you own a pet, at any age, you should recognize the risks to your pet and make a plan so your pet is provided for no matter what happens to you.

Sadly, millions of loving animals are euthanized in shelters every year in the United States. You do not want your pet to end up being one of them because you have no plan in place if you pass away or become unable to care for them. 

 

 

If you own a pet, at any age, you should recognize the risks to your pet and make a plan so your pet is provided for no matter what happens to you.

Young adults have the highest rates of pet ownership, according to the recent Harris Poll. While around 62 percent of households have at least one pet in their house, 65 percent of Millennials and 71 percent of GenXers reported pet ownership.

Many young people assume they will be able to care for their pet for the duration of the pet’s life. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even a young and healthy person will not experience an incapacitating illness or injury that makes them incapable of living independently or that causes an untimely death.  If no plans have been made for the care of the pet and something happens to the pet’s owner, this could result in the animal being sent to a shelter or to another inappropriate living environment.

Of course, older pet owners are also at risk of their pets outliving them, especially seniors who have a statistically significant chance of passing away or of developing an illness that forces nursing home admission.

How can you ensure that your pet continues to receive the love and care they need?

A Pet Trust is a powerful legal document that gives you the ability to not only set aside funds for your pet’s future care but also stipulate exactly what kind of care you expect your pet to receive.

A Pet Trust is a powerful legal document that gives you the ability to not only set aside funds for your pet’s future care but also stipulate exactly what kind of care you expect your pet to receive.

  • Complete control over every aspect of your pet’s future care
  • Stipulate their foods, their schedules, even their veterinarian
  • Revocable, so you can change and amend your trust at any time
  • Designate a separate trustee to oversee the funds and create a “checks and balances” system within your trust
  • Can be activated if you become disabled or incapacitated (a Will can’t do that)

And because a Pet Trust is fully enforceable by the courts, you can rest easy knowing that your pet’s well-being will always be safe.

Is My Pet Really at Risk?

With a Pet Trust, you can prevent your pet from becoming another statistic.

According to animal welfare organization “2nd Chance 4 Pets,” over 500,000 pets are abandoned each year due to the death or disability of their human companions. That’s 500,000 too many. What’s worse is that those pets could have been protected with just a little planning. Think about it: what will happen to your pet if you become disabled? What if you’re no longer able to speak for yourself? How will the courts know what to do with your pet? And how can you make sure that your beloved animal doesn’t end up in a shelter somewhere or worse, alone on the streets? Because sadly, that happens all the time.

 

What Should be Included in Your Pet Plan?

Your pet plan should include selecting a guardian for your pet and making provisions in your will for the guardian to take custody of the animal.

It is imperative that you speak with the person who you have chosen as a guardian to make sure they are willing to assume responsibility. Because circumstances can change, you should also select a backup guardian in case the person who had originally agreed to care for the animal is unable to do so.

For many people, choosing a guardian and providing instructions for their pet in their will is the extent of the planning they do. However, some caring pet owners decide to go further. These pet owners know there are costs associated with caring for a pet and they don’t want to ever see their animal go without.

If you want to ensure you have provided money for things like veterinary care, doggy daycare, or your pet’s favorite toys, you can make plans to leave money for your animal. Of course, your pet cannot inherit directly or manage the inheritance himself. As a result, you may wish to create a Trust. A Trust ensures that the money you left behind must be used to provide for the pet. You can name a Trustee who is in charge of using the funds in the Trust to care for the animal and you can provide very specific instructions regarding how the money is to be used. 

How can a Tucson Pet Planning Lawyer Help?

A Tucson pet planning lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in making the plans that are so essential to protecting your pet if something  happens to you.

A Tucson pet planning lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in making the plans that are so essential to protecting your pet if something  happens to you. Kinghorn Law has helped many pet owners fulfill their responsibilities and ensure their animals are always safe.

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