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Atlanta Elder Law and Pets: The Growing Pandemic Pet Predicament

Image of pets pandemic estate planning COVID 19  on estate management asset protection law site

It’s not often that we discuss Atlanta elder law and pets in the same article, much less the same sentence…

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, pet shelters couldn’t keep pets. With everyone home and many people working from home indefinitely, pets became the hot commodity. For the first time ever, many shelters literally ran out of pets for adoption. However, the story is changing now, and it’s changing fast.

Atlanta Elder Law and Pets… the Sadness in the Story

According to a recent article, many pets are being rescued from homes and apartments after their owners have died from COVID-19. Shelters all around the country are getting the calls. For some people, their pets are the only family they have. When their owners die suddenly and unexpectedly, pets are left without the love and care they are accustomed to and need.

In addition, many people who have been unemployed due to the pandemic can no longer care for their pets. In some cases, they are surrendering them to shelters, but sometimes the pets are merely being put out on the street and left to fend for themselves.

Never before has there been a more urgent need for pet owners to make contingency plans for their pets.

If you are elderly with pets, a senior with pets, or anyone really who has a pet and have not made arrangements in the case you become ill, incapacitated, or die unexpectedly, you may want to explore setting up a pet trust.

In the meantime, discuss your pet’s care in the event of an emergency with a trusted friend or family member. Some organizations specialize in long-term care of pets of deceased owners. You can specify that your pet go to one of these “pet retirement homes” or “sanctuaries” and can arrange that with the organization. Often, a fee or donation is all that is asked of pet owners.

Whether working with an Atlanta elder law attorney, or any other attorney you trust, when creating a trust for your pet, your attorney must be very clear.

This helps ensure your specific wishes regarding your pet and it’s care will be enacted appropriately.

There are many instances in which pet directives are not spelled out and subsequently the pets end up in shelters or not being properly buried. A thorough attorney will ask about food preferences for your pets as well as walking routines. Anything that is important to your pet must be specifically mentioned in your pet trust.

Give our office a call if you would like to explore setting up a well-thought-out pet trust for your beloved companion.

It will certainly bring you peace of mind even when this pandemic is long behind us.

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