Schmidt & Long, Pet Planning Attorney, Benjamin Long, Ferndale, Michigan
For some of us, our pets are as important as children or significant others (for some people, maybe even more important!). Unfortunately, people often fail to plan for their pets in the event of death or divorce. Without the right documents in place, a change in your life could leave your fur-baby homeless and without anyone to care for it.
Estate Planning for Pets
Who will take care of your pet after you are gone? Will it be up to your children, your parents? Or will your death send your fuzzy child to a shelter? The estate planning process often involves planning for spouses, children and family, but overlooks your beloved pets. Because the law treats animals as things, that gap can leave your pets unprotected.
Sometimes a pet estate plan isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. If you are looking to adopt an exotic pet with a long life span, like a parrot or a tortoise, there is a good chance the pet will live longer than you. Some responsible pet stores won’t even let you take the exotic animal with you without proof you have an estate plan in place to take care of them after you are gone.
At Schmidt & Long, PLLC, in Ferndale, Michigan, our attorneys know how to make Michigan estate planning law work for you and your pets. Using a will or a trust, you can make a plan to provide for a safe and loving home for your pets after death. Estate planning attorney Benjamin Long can also help you establish a separate pet trust that governs the care and treatment of a pet, and provides the funds to make that plan work.
Fighting for Pets in a Divorce
For couples who treat their pets like family, a divorce can become a battle over who will take possession of their favorite pet. Traditional divorce law doesn’t handle this very well. Because pets are things, legally speaking, they count as an asset to be divided, just like a house, a boat, or a coin collection. But that ignores the emotional connection many pet parents have with their animals.
Family law attorney Lisa J. Schmidt can help you negotiate a pet custody arrangement to allow both pet parents to keep in contact with their fur-babies. Similar to a child custody arrangement, you and your ex can negotiate to share in the care of the pet, and provide for their kennel and veterinary needs, taking into account the best interests of the pet.
Get Pet Planning Help from Schmidt & Long
Whether you are planning for your animal’s future or fighting for custody of your pet, our animal-loving attorneys are here to help. Contact Schmidt & Long, PLLC, in Ferndale, Michigan to schedule a free consultation and find out how pet planning can protect you and your beloved pets.