PET TRUSTS New…to Minnesota

Pet Trusts:  New…to Minnesota

Minnesota was the last state in the country to pass legislation for a Pet Trust—Minnesota Pet Trusts (July 1, 2016).

The Minnesota Pet trust now allows a legal guarantee that an owner’s pet or pets, upon their death, will be taken care of if they properly plan while living.

The Trust allows for the pet owner to put aside money to care for their pets, either upon incapacity, such as prolonged nursing home stay, or death.  The Trustee of the Pet trust will make sure that whichever person or entity is designated to care for their pets, actually does the job.  Individuals making such a trust, of course, should first verify that the individual/entity to be designated is willing.

Trusts can also have directive language as to expectations on how one would wish a pet’s medical care to be handled.  Pet owners don’t want to see their animals suffer in great pain.  There may be some particular language on expectations for veterinary care if a pet is in failing health.

Often pet lovers are in touch with other pet lovers and organizations promoting healthy lives for pets.  Yet, sadly, too many individuals will then look to a great organization for pets, perhaps Animal Allies, and name them in their Will of care for their animals.  This is a bad, bad decision; and if you call Animal Allies or other such organization, they will tell you so.  These organizations are not set up to handle specific instructions a pet owner has for their loved pets care.  Yes, yes, we encourage people to leave charitable gifts to Animal Allies and other organizations, but leave the care of your loved pets to an individual you know can devote time and effort to handle the matter.

Pets and Divorce

It’s often heard individuals referring to their pets as ‘our babies’ or ‘our children’. Yet, unlike children in a divorce, there’s really no statutory guidance on protection of pets in a divorce.  Animals now can be included in Orders for Protection.  However, in divorce they are so often treated as afterthoughts or mere personal property.   Having an attorney that can personalize and convey the significance of a pet in a person’s life, during the difficult time of divorce proceedings is important.  We at Dahlberg Law Office deeply understand the important role animals play in our lives.

 

Christopher Dahlberg
Attorney at Law

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