Estate Planning for Your Pets

April 01, 2017  

Allie came into our lives when I was studying for the Ohio bar exam. Some may have doubted our wisdom in getting a puppy during such a stressful time, but having her around proved to be such a blessing. And, I did pass the bar exam on the first try!

After all of us received obedience training from Karin Shulin, the owner of Karin’s Kanine, Allie has been the perfect “child.” It was amazing to us what a few lessons can do. I had never had a dog that was actually obedient before!

We consider Allie to be our only “child,” much to the chagrin of her grandparents. My husband loves the idea that she can’t talk back and we do not need to save for her future college expenses.

We can, however, plan for her and our future dogs should my husband and I die before they do, thanks to the Ohio Trust Code. The Trust Code became effective on January 1, 2007, and provides that trusts created to provide for the care of an animal are now enforceable.

Prior to the Trust Code, an individual could establish a trust for their pets but there was no guarantee that their wishes would be enforced. If the trustee (the person appointed to administer the trust), decided that they did not want to take care of Spot anymore, there was not much the courts could do about it.

The pet trust that you create can be for any animal(s) alive during your lifetime. If the trustee that you appoint no longer wishes to take care of your animal(s), the court can appoint a successor trustee. For many of us who treat our animals like our children, this enactment provides assurance that our animals will continue to be spoiled for their lifetime.

Attorney, Andrea C. Kryszak, is a dog owner and is pleased that she can now draft enforceable pet trusts for her clients. She can be reached at 440-934-5330 or 1-888-934-5330.

This information is provided as general information only and is not intended as legal advice. Competent legal counsel should be consulted about your particular situation.