In a recent survey, 71% of LGBT adults said they own one or more pets and that 90% of those pet owners consider their pet to be a family member. And 64% even say they give holiday gifts to their pets just as they do their human loved ones!
Considering how many of us love our pets as though they are our children, it is only natural that we would want to make sure our beloved companions are cared for in the event that we happen to outlive them!
Although our pets are living, breathing companions, they are, by law, considered our "property" and therefore we are not able to leave money directly to our pets.
Because we know how much your pet means to you, we designed our legal document packages so that they include the necessary tools and language to protect your pets.
With your Rainbow Law Living Trust or Last Will legal document package we provide:
It is very important to make a plan, in advance, for the care of your pets after your death. We will help you to name a human beneficiary to receive funds to cover your pet’s expenses and to be your pet’s caretaker.
You should discuss this possibility with the potential caretaker ahead of time to insure he or she is willing to care for your pet and you should always have an alternate caretaker in the event your first choice is not able to do so.
Although it may seem premature and difficult to think about now, your documents should also provide some instructions and resources for the final resting place of your pet at the conclusion of its life.
Many courts are reluctant to enforce a “euthanasia order” for the pet in your will. You might believe that your pet will grieve inconsolably at your death, but courts have determined that this type of provision is an act of cruelty and public outrage is often very strong. More practically, an owner cannot willfully order the destruction of property at the time of his or her death.
Insuring the identity of your pet in your will is also vital. Some cases have come to light in which trusts were abused by the beneficiary who used a succession of similar animals (“black cats”) as a means to procuring more money. Your veterinarian can help you positively identify your pet by implanting a microchip or guide you to one of the DNA identification services.
As more gay and lesbian families keep pets later in life and veterinary medicine continues to advance our pets’ life spans, there is a real possibility that your pet could outlive you. Proactive measures can insure that your pet is not left unattended in the event of your death or disability.