Follow Kara Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Kara Email
Legal Issues
Mar 1, 2018

Use a Pet Trust to Ensure Your Pet’s Care

Sponsored Content provided by Kara Gansmann - Attorney, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Anyone who spends time in downtown Wilmington or at any of the area’s beautiful beaches will see the treats and bowls of water provided by merchants for four-legged friends. 
 
Usually, these offerings are intended for dogs, but the area’s love for pets doesn’t end with canines. Cats, snakes, ferrets, birds, hamsters, horses and the ever-popular yoga goats are all equally loved in the Port City.  
 
While pets may be treated as family members, North Carolina law treats pets as property. Potentially, pets face a number of unplanned outcomes if a pet owner fails to provide for pet care in an estate plan.
 
Some pet owners use a will to bequeath their pets to a certain person to care for a pet. In addition, pet owners often will leave additional money intended for the person’s care of the pet. 
 
However, there are some problems with using only a will for these purposes. For example, people fail to update their wills, so the pets referenced in an older will may not be the same pets owned at death. Additionally, there is no requirement that the person who ends up inheriting the pet will use the money for the pet’s care. In some cases, a person who inherits a pet could decline the inheritance or surrender the pet to a shelter. Finally, the probate process can sometimes disrupt a pet’s care until the estate is settled and the pet finds permanent placement.
 
Other pet owners use a pet trust to provide for their pet’s needs. A pet trust is a legal document that allows a pet owner to appoint a person to care for a pet at the owner’s death, while also providing that person with additional money to cover the cost of pet care. 
 
With a pet trust, an owner can retain control over how the money is spent for the pet’s care. Further, the pet owner can provide specific care instructions for a pet’s needs. A pet trust ensures that a pet’s continued needs will be met even if something unexpected happens to the owner.
 
Using an estate plan to provide for a pet brings peace of mind and an element of control to a pet owner. An experienced attorney who is well-versed in pet trusts can offer the best recommendations for your pet’s needs.

Kara Gansmann is an attorney in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, where her practice encompasses elder law and estate planning. Kara advises individuals and families with estate planning needs and asset protection tactics. In this role, she strategizes with clients to preserve assets for long-term care and to leave legacy gifts to family members. Kara works with elderly clients in need of Medicaid crisis planning and Medicaid applications. As part of her practice, Kara drafts wills, trusts and powers of attorney. In the courtroom, Kara represents clients in the administration of estates, guardianship/incompetency proceedings, and guardianship administration. Kara also litigates estate and trust matters, including will caveats, the modification or termination of trusts, and litigation arising from estate documents or fiduciary roles. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section and serves as co-chair of the CLE Committee for that section.  Kara also serves as a liaison between the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section and the North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section.

 
 
 

Other Posts from Kara Gansmann

Wbj insights revised 0510 121615113531
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Hardyheadshot

Start Your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree to Get Ahead of the Curve

Charles Hardy - UNCW College of Health and Human Services
Christy2

A New Breed of Sustainable Roofers

Christy West - Roof Rescue of Wilmington LLC/Roof Maxx
Natalieenglish 3301715113

A Strategic Plan for Community Prosperity

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Trending News

Renting Continues To Get More Expensive In Wilmington, Data Shows

Cece Nunn - Jun 24, 2019

Medical Building In Wilmington Sells For More Than $5M

Cece Nunn - Jun 25, 2019

At Mayfaire, New Physical Therapy Facility Throws Out Insurance Model

Cece Nunn - Jun 24, 2019

Adam Sisk Promoted To Principal Engineer

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 25, 2019

With ILM Business Park Fully Leased, Land Still Open For Development

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 25, 2019

In The Current Issue

Selling Iconic Property On Iconic Island

More than 30 years later, Buzzy Northen and his wife, Ellen Northen, are still in love with Figure Eight Island. “It’s just heaven,” Buzzy N...


Chen Puts Final Touches On Ramen Shop

Johnny Chen, the food entrepreneur who brought sushi to downtown Wilmington more than 15 years ago with his first Nikki’s restaurant, has ag...


Interest In Solar Brightens

From residential and commercial to utility-scale solar operations, some in the industry say solar has become more than just an environmental...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Power Breakfast - The H Word (June 13, 2019)
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Health Care Heroes 2018