As elder law attorneys, we have a deep understanding of the challenges that confront senior citizens. One of them is loneliness, and it can have a very debilitating impact. When you have lost your partner, other family members and friends, and you are retired, the companionship void can be considerable.
Experts point out the value of pet ownership for lonely seniors. When you bring a pet into your home, you have a renewed sense of purpose. This alone can uplift your mood, and simply looking at a friendly feline or canine face can make you smile.
Pets are very entertaining, and a dog can add a layer of security. Small dogs may not be very intimidating, but they can certainly let you know when there are unusual sounds outside the door.
Dog owners naturally get exercise on a regular basis, because the animals need to go out for walks. This can be physically beneficial, and you may make friends or acquaintances at the local dog park. Clearly, pet ownership can be the ideal antidote for a lonely senior citizen.
Even if you come to the conclusion that you would love to get a pet, you may have longevity concerns. Who would take care of your pet if you predecease the animal? It may not be easy to find someone that will volunteer to take care of the pet if it becomes necessary.
There is an ideal estate planning solution that can be implemented under these circumstances. You can create a trust for the benefit of an animal in the state of South Carolina. This would provide you with the peace of mind that you need to obtain a furry companion.
When you establish a pet trust, you name a trustee to act as the administrator. It can be someone that you know personally that is willing to assume the role, and the trustee does not necessarily have to be the caretaker of the pet. Another option would be the engagement of a professional fiduciary like a trust company.
In the trust declaration, you can record specific instructions for the trustee to follow regarding the way that you want the pet to be cared for after your passing. The beneficiary would have a fiduciary duty to make sure that your instructions are carried out to the letter.
You do not have to be concerned about money that may be left in the trust after the pet dies. When you are establishing the trust, you can designate a successor beneficiary. This individual or entity would assume ownership of any assets that may remain in the trust when the pet is deceased.
We Are Here to Help!
Our doors are open if you would like to discuss pet planning or any other estate planning or elder law matter with a licensed attorney. We will get to know you, gain an understanding of your objectives, and help you devise the ideal estate plan.