ANIMALS ARE PROPERTY
What is property? In America’s legal system, property is your couch, your home, your car, your money and your animals. Some property needs immediate care, others can wait.
The Law Treats Animals The Same Way it Treats Your Old Couch! They are all property, but some breathe and some don’t. Although many legal documents are called "Trusts", few can secure an animal's ongoing safety and survival.
The first question in a good pet trust is “Who Owns the Dog?”
Movie buffs might remember this classic scene from Peter Seller’s The Pink Panther Strikes Again:
Inspector Clouseau: "Does your dog bite?"
Hotel Clerk: "No."
Inspector Clouseau pets the dog. The dog bites Clouseau's foot.
Inspector Clouseau: "I thought you said your dog did not bite!"
Hotel Clerk: "That is not my dog."
This vignette is an eye opener for all those who love their animals.
It's VERY IMPORTANT to name a SINGLE owner so as to avoid a court battle in the case of a breakup.
So...Who Owns the Dog?
Take the test below and see how you might do if you end in court:
“I own the dog! I rescued Soupbone at the shelter.”
- “I own the dog! He was my birthday gift.”
- “I own the dog! I took Swizzle to the vet; my roomate only bought the food.”
- “I own the dog! In my divorce she's should be coming with the kids.”
- “I own the dog! I had Sundance for 5 years before we were married.”
- “I own the dogs! I stay at home and care for both dogs. My partner and I can live without each other but I can't live without these dogs”
Each of these cases lost in court.
Resolving the issue of ownership before a dispute arises can solve a myriad of problems and avert future legal disputes and litigation.
The Pet Protection Agreement® pet trust is the strongest proof of ownership you can bring to court.
Make Sure You Are Addressing All Owned Property
Make Sure Your Advisor is Concerned About Your Pets
Moral Standards. Concern for your world. If something happens to you, even if you are just going away on a very long trip, someone has to water the plants, someone needs to take an elderly person in your care to the doctor and to buy food. What if you have a disabled child. What else can you think of that will die without attention.
The pets? Yes, them also.
Pet lovers, make sure your advisor asks about your pets when doing an estate plan.
Advisors are already accustomed to asking clients about their property—home, land, furniture, money, art, boats, cars, jewelry and other valuables. It’s easy to add animals to that list.