Estates & Wills & Trusts

Select an alternate caregiver for pets in your will

By Staff

A small but growing number of pet owners express interest in making provisions for their pets in their estate plans, Toronto trusts and estates lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells The Canadian Press.

Popovic-Montag, managing partner of Hull & Hull LLP, tells the news service she asks all her new clients about pets when she starts their estate planning.

“Provisions range from relaxed, informal arrangements to rigid, structured ones, with varying levels of risk,” the article states.

Because Canadian law considers pets property, Popovic-Montag says owners can’t bequeath houses, money or other assets directly to their pets and instead must select a family member, friend or someone else to become their pet’s guardian.

She recommends people select an alternate caregiver and trustee, recalling a situation where a person died, and the individual appointed to care for their pet decided they didn’t want it.

The executor of the will had no choice but to place the animal in a shelter, Popovic-Montag tells The Canadian Press.

“There wasn’t enough contingency built in,” she says.

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