Long Beach residents may be saddened to hear about the abuse and neglect of animals, but according to a recent article, a terrier-poodle mix named Chloe was found beaten and tied up in a trash bag, discarded in a dumpster in Long Beach. When she was rescued, she underwent a successful surgery to realign her fractured femur and implant a titanium plate to support her leg during recovery. Long Beach Animal Emergency officials stated that she will probably need two additional months of physical therapy and rehabilitation before she will fully recover.
Chloe was found in a dumpster on Dec. 8th near Walnut Avenue in Downtown Long Beach. Most of her body was bruised in addition to a broken leg and multiple skull and rib fractures. It was clear from her injuries that she had been subjected to significant neglect and abuse. The good news is that numerous inquiries have been made about adopting Chloe after she is released from a foster home where she will be cared for by individuals experienced in caring for dogs with medical needs. Anyone with any information regarding the case should call the Long Beach Animal Care Service’s Special Investigation Unit at (562) 570-3086.
Protect Your Pets From Future Abuse or Neglect with Pet Estate Planning
Contrary to what many people think, you cannot simply leave money to your pet in your will. Pets are considered property under the law, so they cannot “inherit” money from you, as some people assume. Yet, even with a detailed provision in your will for your pet, you may not be securing your pet’s future as well as you might think. If you want to guarantee that your family friend will be properly cared for after your death, you should seriously consider a pet trust.
How Do Pet Trusts Work?
Pet trusts are much like any other type of trust, in how it is created and how it operates. The purpose of a pet trust is to provide a sufficient source of income and assets for the care of your pet. The trust agreement document includes specific instructions for your pet’s care, including the preferences you or your pet may have. You can choose to appoint an independent trustee to make sure that the terms of the trust are being followed by your caregiver.
Which is Better: Traditional or Statutory Pet Trusts?
There are basically two types of pet trusts used in pet estate planning: traditional pet and statutory. A traditional pet trust, the most common type, is effective in every state, regardless of where it was created. A traditional pet trust gives pet owners the most control over the details of their pet’s care. A statutory pet trust, on the other hand, is a basic pet plan with very little detail provided. Instead, the applicable state statutes fill in the details. With a statutory pet trust, you can include a simple provision in your will such as, “I leave $10,000 in trust for the care of my dog, Fido.”
How Do I Create a Pet Trust?
A pet trust allows pet owners to leave their pet, along with the necessary financial resources, to a chosen caregiver while creating the legal obligation to provide care for your pet. Sometimes this is necessary if you are having a problem finding someone who will voluntarily care for your pet. If the caregiver does not follow the instructions included in the trust, he or she can be legally liable for violating the terms of the trust. While a pet trust is more complicated than less formal arrangements and, often more expensive, the legal obligation it creates can be more reassuring.
What Are the Basic Terms Required in a Pet Trust?
A pet trust basically contains terms that specifically identify your pet, the name of the chosen caregiver, the amount of money to be used to provide care, specific instructions regarding care, and provisions for what to do with any remaining funds, after the pet dies. You can also include instructions in the event you become unable to care for your pet for any reason, before your death.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Pet Trust?
The reality is, your pet is considered property, and simply a part of your estate. If you do not have any estate planning document that specifically addresses future care for your pet, the pet will be given to your residuary beneficiary. The residuary beneficiary is the person who inherits the remainder of your estate after all other inheritances have been transferred. If you did not have a will, your pet will be distributed with all of your other personal property, according to your state’s intestate succession laws. So, be sure to plan ahead, and your favorite family friend will be well taken care of after you are gone.
Download a FREE estate planning worksheet today! If you have questions regarding estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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