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
Carolinemontgomery4

Found Money: Tax Extenders And Disaster Relief

Caroline Montgomery - Adam Shay CPA, PLLC
Mike stonestreet 300x300

What To Do If There Are Insufficient Reserve Funds

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Jasonpathfinder3

Finding Happiness In Retirement

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting

Trending News

Investors Commit $545M To Local Venture Capital Firm

Jenny Callison - Jan 22, 2020

New Firm Aims To Grow Its Stake In Wilmington's Industrial Real Estate

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 23, 2020

Update: Negotiations Begin For Major Redevelopment Project

Cece Nunn - Jan 22, 2020

Local Firm Acquires Real Estate School

Cece Nunn - Jan 22, 2020

Senior Living Development Proposed On Middle Sound Loop Road

Cece Nunn - Jan 24, 2020

In The Current Issue

Packaged For Generations

Family firm Atlantic Packaging is putting the final touches on its newly expanded headquarters and opening a new location this month. ...


The Most Fitting Trends Take Shape

The top fitness trends have been named by the American College of Sports Medicine, and they can be seen in the Wilmington area....


A Matter Of School Days For Tourism

Although the school calendar is staying the same for now for New Hanover County schools, it’s an ongoing issue that tourism and educators gr...

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

2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WILMA Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`