Gifts to Pets in an Estate Plan

Animal Companions Cannot Own Property

While most of us consider our pets to be part of the family, animals cannot own property legally. For example, an animal cannot open a bank account or hold title to a car.  Leaving property in your will to an animal would not be valid.

Name a Guardian

You can however provide for your best friend/pet by including a provision in your will for a “guardian” for your pet. The guardian you name should be someone you trust to care for your pet or make arrangements for the proper care of your pet if they cannot manage the responsibility.

Money or other assets can then be left to care for the pet. Some states, including New Jersey, allow individuals to establish a trust specifically designated to provide assets for the care of an animal companion.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman can help you understand all your options for protecting your loved ones, including animal companions and to preserve your assets. Call us today at 973-841-5111 to learn more.

 

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