Under the laws of the state of Ohio, there are no provisions for property ownership for animals. So the answer is no, you cannot leave money to your pet in a last will.
Yes, a pet is considered to be your property, and you can transfer property through the terms of a will. This may sound like an instance in overstating the obvious, but you should definitely make sure that the person that you have in mind is willing to care for the pet after you are gone.
It is also important to consider the anticipated longevity of the individual that would be inheriting the animal.
Sure, you can leave money to anyone, and you can instruct the person to use the money to care for the pet. However, these instructions would not be legally enforceable. Once the inheritor has the money, they would be free to do whatever they want to do with it.
Yes, you could establish a trust for the benefit of a pet.
You establish and fund the pet trust, and you name a trustee to act as the administrator after you pass away. The trustee can be someone that you know personally, or it can be a professional fiduciary such as a bank or a trust company.
We should emphasize the fact if you name a trustee that you know, this person would not necessarily have to care for the pet.
In the trust declaration, you can leave behind specific instructions with regard to the way that you want the pet to be cared for after you are gone. You can specify certain food, treats, exercise times, and any other details that you want to include.
When you establish the trust, you name a successor beneficiary. After the passing of the pet, this individual or entity would assume ownership of any resources that remain in the trust.
Learn More About Pet Planning
We have provided some basic information about pet trusts here, and you can learn much more if you download our special report. It is just one of many different reports that you can access through our website, and you can visit our library to access any or all of them.
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