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Estate Planning Options for Your Pets by Cindy Nelson Elder Law Attorney in Cherokee County, Georgia


Increasingly people are making provisions in their estate plans for their pets. If you would like to do the same, then you have a few options for how to do it.

In the past people gave little thought to what might happen to their pets after they passed away. It certainly was not common to provide ways for pets to continue receiving care in estate plans.

Today, however, pets are increasingly being viewed as important family members that need to be provided for in estate plans along with human relatives.

Time recently published an article on this phenomenon entitled “How to Make Sure Your Pet Is Cared for When You Die.”

The article mentions three ways to provide for a pet in your estate plan:

  • Will Beneficiary – In your will you can name someone to inherit your pet and leave them money to care for the animal. This can be a little problematic as there is no way to guarantee that the person will use the funds to care for your pet, so only do this if you are certain the person will love your pet as much as you do.
  • Will Trust – You can create a trust in your will and leave funds for the trust to care for your pet. In every state except Minnesota this will create a trust. A probate court will designate a trustee and caretaker for your pet to see that your pet is cared for.
  • Traditional Trust – You can create a trust and fund it with the assets necessary for your pet’s care. It is common to appoint as trustee the person who will also be the pet’s caregiver, but it is not necessary.

If you would like more information about providing for your pet after you pass away, speak with Nelson Elder Care Law about the above options.

Reference: Time (Nov. 18, 2015) “How to Make Sure Your Pet Is Cared for When You Die.”

Hear From Our Clients
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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce