For hundreds of years, despite a person’s deep love and connection to their beloved pet, courts have invalidated documents their owners put in place to protect them. Many published cases reveal that disgruntled “potential” heirs are the ones seeking to get the pet protection documents thrown out so that they can receive the gifts that would pass to them if it were not for pet.
I am so thankful to be a part of the like-minded attorneys who came before me who understood the special bond between people and their pets. They fought for decades to move the law forward in the area of pet trusts. Given many people’s attitude that a pet is “just an animal” and lacking any emotions or feelings, I can only image that attorneys who stood in front of judges arguing otherwise were often ridiculed by their peers. They took it, though, and persevered. Today, all of their efforts have paved the way for attorneys like me to truly help people who want to make sure that their loyal companion has a survival plan in place – a plan that will protect the pet and withstand challenges from family who just don’t understand the real fear people have about the fate of their pet after they are gone.
According to the Animal Legal and Historical Center of Michigan State University, as of 2018, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted pet trust laws. Pet owners who put a survival plan in place for their pets can finally have peace of mind knowing that when they are no longer able to care for their faithful furry friend that their plan for them will be carried out.