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August 26, 2022

Taking Care of Your Pets

by Karen Hamilton, Esq., The Law Firm of Karen E. Hamilton

When your clients have pets, arrangements should be made for the care of the pets when your client has passed on.

If no planning is done, the probate court or the executor will be left trying to find someone to adopt or take the pets. The transfer of the pets and cost of care can be provided for within a will, stating who the client would like to adopt the pets, or who has agreed to take care of them; they can also provide a pet fund for food and veterinary costs.

The Ohio Revised Code allows for a pet trust to be established under Ohio Revised Code section 5804.08, to provide for the care of a pet (or pets) which will terminate upon the death of the last pet. Creating a trust for the pet allows for the continued care and support of the pets without the delay of probate to access funds. A trustee is named by the client, as well as a caregiver for the pets.

Having the trustee oversee the caregiver provides oversight to make sure the pets are being cared for in the manner intended by grantor. Also, include details as to what type of care, exercise, grooming routine and ultimately how you want the pet’s passing to be handled. If it’s important to your client, make sure you put it in writing.

Pets are an important part of any client’s life, and as attorneys we need to remember to help both our clients and their fur-babies.

Reprinted from the Summer 2022 Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly edition. Read the full article here.

Pets are an important part of any client’s life, and as attorneys we need to remember to help both our clients and their fur-babies.