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Caution in Leaving Money to Your Pooch

Aug 26, 2011

photoIt is always important to ensure that your legal will is situated in case something might happen to you. You are deciding how to divide your effects amongst your loved ones. Your family will likely be included, but what about your pooch? Your faithful canine companion is one of your closest friends and you want to ensure that they are taken care of. While humans of course have many rights of their own and are protected by laws, your pup may actually have trouble getting the care and effects that you leave them in your last testament.

Money and property

In 1923, American laws were adapted to allow owners to leave inheritances to their pets (not just pups). Although it is allowed, that does not mean that leaving money and property to your pooch will not meet with difficulties. There are still many loopholes in the system, and more often than not, the presiding judges still can decide what to do with your effects. There are trusts that the money can be left in, but the trustees will still likely have control of the funds. If you are debating to include your pup in your will, especially financially, remember that you will need to set up your own trust with specifics to avoid trouble and ensure your pup gets the care they deserve.

Although trusts can be created to offer financial protection not only your dog, but possibly pups in future generations, these are often difficult to arrange, and sometimes just as hard to ensure they are carried out properly.

Care and careful

Even if you request care for your pup through financial means and legal assistance, there are still difficulties in ensuring that this is accomplished. One problem with the legalities of a person’s death is that their family members often have rights before anything else. The legal system sees your blood relatives and adopted family as your closest life companions. This does not hold true, as people often find “family members” through close bonds with their friends and pets.

This is unfortunate for your faithful pup as they cannot actually fight for what may be rightfully theirs. Until laws are adapted to better protect the last wishes of the deceased, there will always be difficulties with carrying out a will.

To be buried with you?

What about something as simple as requesting your beloved dog be buried with you when they pass on as well? This is the most difficult task to accomplish as cemeteries in the United States do not allow pets to be buried where humans are buried. There is not much you can do about such laws.

If you are considering arranging for your pup to be taken care of- financially or physically- you may reconsider your arrangements. Pets are often regarded as property themselves (we may not think of them that way, but the legal system does) and actually leaving an inheritance to them via the current legal system may be difficult. Perhaps you should consider looking into available trusts, and organizing with a close friend or relative regarding your pup’s safety if you pass on.

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