Do you have a plan in place for your pet if something should happen to you ?
What will happen to your pet if something happens to you? Do you have a plan in place? Do you have a will? I had a clients call me to tell me that he was going into the hospital for surgery. He wanted to ask me if he did not come home right away, could he call me to tend to his pets. I told him we would always be available for him and his pets. I never did hear anything from him and I was getting a bit concerned. About 2 weeks later his sister called me and told me he passed away!! I was so sad for him and his 4 dogs. What was going to happen to the dogs? The sister called to ask me if I knew anyone that could take his 4 dogs. The dogs are considered the aggressive type however they are very, very sweet. I gave her the number of a few rescue groups and she told me she would not just dump them…
I followed up with her and she did find them all a home together (Thank God). So, the reason for this blog is to remind you to make sure you always have a plan in place for your pet, if something should happen to you.
According to AmericanBar.org, there are 3 documents to consider when planning for your dog in the event of your death.
In NC the law allows for a trust
§ 36C-4-408. Trust for care of animal.
(a) Subject to this section, a trust for the care of one or more designated domestic or pet animals alive at the time of creation of the trust is valid.
(b) Except as expressly provided otherwise in the trust instrument, no portion of the principal or income may be converted to the use of the trustee or to any use other than for the benefit of the designated animal or animals.
(c) The trust terminates at the death of the animal or last surviving animal. Upon termination, the trustee shall transfer the unexpended trust property in the following order:
(1) As directed in the trust instrument.
(2) If the trust was created in a preresiduary clause in the settlor’s will or in a codicil to the settlor’s will, under the residuary clause in the settlor’s will.
(3) If no taker is produced by the application of subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection, to the settlor, if then living, otherwise to the settlor’s heirs determined as of the date of the settlor’s death under Chapter 29 of the General Statutes.
(d) The intended use of the principal or income can be enforced by a person designated for that purpose in the trust instrument or, if none, by a person appointed by the clerk of superior court having jurisdiction over the trust upon application to the clerk of superior court by a person.
(e) Except as ordered by the clerk of superior court or required by the trust instrument, no filing, report, registration, periodic accounting, separate maintenance of funds, appointment, bond, or fee is required by reason of the existence of the fiduciary relationship of the trustee.
(f) A governing instrument shall be liberally construed to bring the transfer within this section, to presume against the merely precatory or honorary nature of the disposition, and to carry out the general intent of the settlor. Extrinsic evidence is admissible in determining the settlor’s intent.
(g) The clerk of superior court may reduce the amount of the property transferred, if the clerk of superior court determines that the amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use. The amount of the reduction, if any, passes as unexpended trust property under subsection (c) of this section.
(h) If no trustee is designated or if no designated trustee agrees to serve or is able to serve, the clerk of superior court must name a trustee. The clerk of superior court may order the transfer of the property to another trustee, if required to assure that the intended use is carried out and if no successor trustee is designated in the trust instrument or if no designated successor trustee agrees to serve or is able to serve. The clerk of superior court may also make other orders and determinations as are advisable to carry out the intent of the settlor and the purpose of this section. (1995, c. 225, s. 1; 2005-192, s. 2; 2006-259, s. 13(b).)