Estate planning is important for everyone but of course as you get older and you see some of your peers pass away it is inevitably going to take on an added sense of relevancy. When you reach an advanced age you are faced with the challenges of estate planning, but you also have personal challenges that are specific to elders. People are living longer than ever so you may have many good years left after your spouse passes away and your children and grandchildren are on their own. You would do well to make the best of them and be proactive about staving off things like loneliness and depression.
Something to think about along these lines would be pet ownership. Owning a pet can be extremely rewarding on a number of different levels and directly address some of the most pressing issues that seniors face. Clearly, a dog or cat can be your best friend, providing love and companionship. But in addition, the fact that you once again have a “dependent” in the household relying on you can provide you with a renewed sense of purpose. There are dogs that can act as protectors, and pet ownership also gives you a reason to get out and about exercising the animal which in turn keeps you active.
The above having been stated, if you do obtain a pet later in your life you’re going to have to prepare for the possibility that the pet may outlive you. First you must identify someone who will be able to take over for you and act as the pet’s owner or caregiver. Once that has been established you are going to have to provide for the pet financially. Some people will simply leave a direct bequest to the potential new owner. Others will choose to create a pet trust, and these are perfectly legal in the state of New York. The best way to go about planning for your pet is to arrange a meeting with an estate planning attorney who will help you make the appropriate preparations so that your pet is cared for come what may.
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