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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Estate Planning > Avoid These Mistakes When Planning For Your Pet

Avoid These Mistakes When Planning For Your Pet


People in Daytona Beach, and throughout the country, really love their pets. Approximately 60 million Americans are pet owners, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The pet industry is a billion dollar industry because people are willing to spend a significant amount of money on their furry and feathered friends. Pets are not just animals. They are a part of the family. In fact, so much so that people often want to include their pets as part of their estate plan.

Although planning for your pet does have some challenges, there are ways to overcome these. Below, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer explains how to do it.

Failing to Put Your Plans in Writing 

Many people rely on an oral agreement alone but this is a very big mistake. For example, you may ask someone in your family to care for your dog in the event that you pass away. After they agree, you may not see any need to put the agreement in writing. Oral contracts, though, are often seen as ambiguous which also makes them very easy to challenge.

If you rely on an oral agreement only, your pet may not have the protection you had intended for them. Using the same example, you may become incapacitated and not be able to make decisions for yourself. You may have thought your agreement with your family member would apply in this situation, but they do not. If they then refuse to care for your pet, you and your other loved ones may not have any recourse.

Lastly, the law requires certain contracts to be in writing and included in this are contracts regarding the transfer of property. While you may consider your pet to be part of the family, the law does not. The law views your pet as your personal property and so, if you wish to transfer ownership of them, you must put it in writing.

Leaving Money to a Pet 

Again, the pet industry is one that generates billions of dollars every year. You may understand how expensive it is to care for your pet and so, you may want to leave them money in your will. This strategy usually fails because you cannot leave property to other property.

You may be able to leave funds for your pet to a beneficiary but whether this provision is upheld really depends on the specific court, as some have allowed it in the past while others have not. The best way to make sure your pet is provided for in the event that you pass away is to speak to a lawyer who can provide sound legal advice.

Our Estate Planning Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Explain Your Options 

Planning for your pet is not always easy, but that does not mean it is impossible. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer can explain your legal options and help ensure that all of your family members are cared for in the future. Contact us today at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free case evaluation and to get the information you need.




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