Is your loved one in need of a different level of care? Maybe it is time to look at options for an assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing facility? Or maybe it is just time for some private pay help at home. If you are considering any of the above options, you may be wondering about costs and payments of these resources.

October is National Long-Term Planning Month, so we thought we would do a bit of this homework for you. The first thing to do is to identify the level of care your loved one may need. It is important to understand these levels of care now and in the future as your loved one declines or as you plan for your own future needs. Senior living options range from 55+ active adult communities to those options with higher level of care including assisting living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.

Every day we help families who are caregiving for a loved one with dementia. We are also partnered with countless professionals whose expertise lie in caring for those with dementia. Our Education Center recently introduced the program Music and the Brain which educates professionals on the power of music with your loved one, patient, client or resident. The Road Behind Playlist will unlock memories in those with dementia and help them to connect with memories from years ago. We do suggest trying to encourage the listener to listen with headphones as studies have shown this method provides many benefits for those with cognitive impairment. Play it during dinner, through quiet time, even in the background! We will be releasing a monthly play list for your loved one, patient, client or residents to spark memories through the power of music. We encourage you to share with anyone who could benefit from using it. We hope you love the playlist, get encouraged to keep a song in your heart and be sure to Plan for Life Ahead, never forgetting The Road Behind. Click here to access this month's The Road Behind Playlist!

COVID-19 has changed the way we do business, has changed the way we live our everyday lives and has changed our plans for the near future. Everything from school, graduations, work, vacations and even grocery shopping has been impacted. I recently heard a comparison that stuck with me. As COVID-19 approached it is as if we were warned of an incoming blizzard, but what we were left with was a very long, cold winter.

Maybe there was an intention of moving your loved one to a care facility before all of this started and it came to a halt when the Coronavirus struck. Now that we are seeing glimpses of re-openings, there is a need again for care for our loved ones. We must return to work and mom or dad needs help. Our loved one is no longer safe at home. Let us take a peek at what that will look like.

Communities all have different policies and procedures that meet guidelines. Some are accepting admissions, some are not. Some are doing virtual tours of communities; some are meeting in person at a social distance with photos and information to answer all your questions. Those accepting admissions will have a quarantine phase in place before a loved one can join the community. There is so much to think about that it can get overwhelming. Trying to figure all of this out on your own is not easy. It is so important that we make sure we carry on one step at a time when planning for our loved one. Is this something that has been discussed with them or perhaps the conversation is the best possible starting point?


If you have had this conversation, the next step in this process is to be sure your loved one has their disability documents in place. A financial power of attorney is the most important document to make any move to senior care possible. Without a financial power of attorney and healthcare documents, most communities would not allow you to move in because they require financial and healthcare powers of attorney to be admitted. It is also important that these documents are updated by an elder law attorney. Not all documents are created the same. We must be sure the language in the documents references not only someone’s cognitive competency, but they also must have the correct language for gifting so that if your loved one ever needs Medicaid, you can provide and have access to all that is needed for those government benefits when the time comes.

Once your documents are in order then it is time to figure out which senior community is best for your loved one. At Van Dyck Law, we provide that service in addition to taking care of all your legal needs. We will help you through process of finding the right senior care option whether your plan is to keep mom home with care or move into a senior care community. We will walk you through this process every step of the way and represent you as our client in all aspects. Call us today at 609-580-1044 to start the process for your consultation to see what services and plans may be best to get your started in helping your aging loved one plan for life ahead.

All powers of attorney are the same, right? This is untrue, and a very important thing to understand, especially in the midst of a global pandemic when disability documents are more important than ever. A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows another person to act and make decisions on your behalf. This type of authority is especially important if you ever lose mental capacity or are unable to act. In the written power of attorney, the individual executing the document who is known as the principal, appoints another individual known as the agent to make financial or healthcare decisions for the principal.

A power of attorney can only be executed if the principal has capacity to understand the document. This means it is important for your loved one to execute a financial power of attorney while she/he still has the capacity to do so. If you and your loved one have legal documents, such as a power of attorney, that were executed prior to a dementia diagnosis being made, or if they are several years old, it is advised to update your documents.

What happens if a loved one does not have capacity and is unable to sign a power of attorney? A guardianship then would be appropriate which is a costly and timely process that involves doctors, going to court and a judge who will ultimately make a final decision. The person that your loved one would have wanted appointed when they did have capacity may not be the one that the judge deems fit.

Dealing with a dementia diagnosis on its own is challenging enough. Dealing with a dementia diagnosis with out of date or no legal documents adds a lot more challenges to the mix that many families are just not prepared to manage.

It is advised that you speak to an elder law attorney who has experience with helping families with a dementia diagnosis. There is so much more involved than just “getting your documents done”. If you think your loved one may need long term care in the future, there are ways you can prepare to manage these costs as well. Do not wait. Give us a call today to answer any questions you may have at 609-580-1044 before planning is not an option due to incapacity. There is no better time than before a crisis to plan for life ahead.

Boredom and Isolation are never a good mix for the person living with dementia and their caregiver. Throw in a global pandemic, and you may be facing quite a challenge. As abilities decrease and your loved one’s interests fade, it is a challenge to find activities that one can enjoy and feel capable of doing. Especially when there are so many restrictions in place.


The Montessori Dementia Care style approach focuses on re-discovering and supporting the person behind the dementia. Activities with meaning and purpose are put back into people's lives, based on their needs, their interests, their skills, and their abilities. People who have dementia often feel they are always being told what to by others. Here are a few things to focus on to empower your loved one during such challenging times:

1. Cognitive Skills
Cognitive activities can be performed in a variety of different exercises depending on the ability of your loved one. Try incorporating trivia, discussions about current events, newspaper articles, blogs, and other brain challenges for loved ones with higher cognitive abilities. These exercises may not be ideal for those diagnosed with more severe, long-term dementia as short-term memory begins to fade. Instead, try puzzles like matching words with objects or identifying famous landmarks are other tasks that allow the mind to stay active. These puzzles are all modifiable depending on the individual’s skill set. The important thing is to make sure your loved one is engaged and interested.

2. Life Skills
With dementia, an individual's short-term memory may fade, but their long-term memories remain intact. You can absolutely incorporate your loved one's skills, history, and background into life skills activities. If your loved one worked on a farm or had a garden, plan an activity like sorting or planting seeds. Consider a small herb garden which may be easier to manage. This is a chore that could bring back memories from when they were younger. If your loved one was a handyman, simple activities involving hand tools, like using a screwdriver or wrench will allow your loved one to complete an activity using skills that have been developed throughout their life. For those who were homemakers, activities involving baking, folding clothes, or household chores can be simple, and modifiable.

3. Movement
Stick to purposeful movements. Activities involving a full range of motion incorporating slow movements can be calming. Try to incorporate slow, deep breaths in these activities. If your loved one has physical limitations, you can have them seated in a chair. If they are seated, have them motion like they are picking an apple from a tree, painting a fence, stirring a pot, or placing flowers in a vase. These movements are universal and can keep your loved one active and engaged. Consider Chair Tai Chi or Gentle Stretching on YouTube.

4. Sensory
Sensory activities are important and can help keep the whole mind alert. For smell, use cotton balls and essential oils including citrus, lavender, or vanilla. Ask your loved one to identify the scent. For taste, have your loved one put their hands over their eyes. Line up three different bite size types of fruit, have them taste and see if they can identify the fruit.


5. Learning and Learned Skills
Those with dementia still have a great amount of creativity and NEVER stop learning. Have a loved one paint in a simplified setting. You can have them choose a picture they would like to or have them try to copy a photo. You can visit art instruction website, virtual zoo and museum tours and destinations if your loved one liked to travel. Try putting on a cooking show and watching together then make the recipe you watched being made. Remember that using a knife is a skill that some folks with dementia may still know how to do. We tend to take away tasks that our loved ones can accomplish when being a family caregiver. It is important to be mindful that your loved one, can sometimes continue these tasks in a safe manner.


6. Socialization
COVID-19 has put a damper on our Socialization through dining. Dining is a great way to socialize because it is an activity that is done every single day. Dining usually allows your loved one to interact with others and now your loved one may only be interacting with you. Have your loved one set the table, help cook the meal and chat, or clear the table while you are socializing. Incorporate the task with the socialization.

Every interaction should be focused on the physical and emotional wellbeing of your loved one. Create a stimulating environment where they can thrive in mind, body, and spirit.

The Montessori Method can have tremendous benefits for people with dementia, as well as their loved ones. The activities are generally easy to set up, can be modified depending on a person's skillset, and customized from a person’s lifestyle before the diagnosis.

Please give us a call if you need support during this time in caring for your loved one with dementia and think it may be time to plan for when the pandemic restrictions lift. Remember that legal planning for those with dementia is a specialty and it is important to consult with a firm that truly understands this. Paying for care, determining competency, and putting the right care option in place is a process. We have a team of Lawyers and Paralegals who can help walk you through the legal and financial situations you may be facing as your loved one progresses. We also have Certified Dementia Practitioners and Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care trainers as well as a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional on staff who can help you with the process of creating a stimulating environment for your loved one at home while quarantining. Call 609-580-1044 if you would like to discuss your loved one’s expressions or if you would like to start to plan for life ahead.

Boredom and Isolation are never a good mix for the person living with dementia and their caregiver. Throw in a global pandemic, and you may be facing quite a challenge. As abilities decrease and your loved one’s interests fade, it is a challenge to find activities that one can enjoy and feel capable of doing. Especially when there are so many restrictions in place.


The Montessori Dementia Care style approach focuses on re-discovering and supporting the person behind the dementia. Activities with meaning and purpose are put back into people's lives, based on their needs, their interests, their skills, and their abilities. People who have dementia often feel they are always being told what to by others. Here are a few things to focus on to empower your loved one during such challenging times:

1. Cognitive Skills
Cognitive activities can be performed in a variety of different exercises depending on the ability of your loved one. Try incorporating trivia, discussions about current events, newspaper articles, blogs, and other brain challenges for loved ones with higher cognitive abilities. These exercises may not be ideal for those diagnosed with more severe, long-term dementia as short-term memory begins to fade. Instead, try puzzles like matching words with objects or identifying famous landmarks are other tasks that allow the mind to stay active. These puzzles are all modifiable depending on the individual’s skill set. The important thing is to make sure your loved one is engaged and interested.

2. Life Skills
With dementia, an individual's short-term memory may fade, but their long-term memories remain intact. You can absolutely incorporate your loved one's skills, history, and background into life skills activities. If your loved one worked on a farm or had a garden, plan an activity like sorting or planting seeds. Consider a small herb garden which may be easier to manage. This is a chore that could bring back memories from when they were younger. If your loved one was a handyman, simple activities involving hand tools, like using a screwdriver or wrench will allow your loved one to complete an activity using skills that have been developed throughout their life. For those who were homemakers, activities involving baking, folding clothes, or household chores can be simple, and modifiable.

3. Movement
Stick to purposeful movements. Activities involving a full range of motion incorporating slow movements can be calming. Try to incorporate slow, deep breaths in these activities. If your loved one has physical limitations, you can have them seated in a chair. If they are seated, have them motion like they are picking an apple from a tree, painting a fence, stirring a pot, or placing flowers in a vase. These movements are universal and can keep your loved one active and engaged. Consider Chair Tai Chi or Gentle Stretching on YouTube.

4. Sensory
Sensory activities are important and can help keep the whole mind alert. For smell, use cotton balls and essential oils including citrus, lavender, or vanilla. Ask your loved one to identify the scent. For taste, have your loved one put their hands over their eyes. Line up three different bite size types of fruit, have them taste and see if they can identify the fruit.


5. Learning and Learned Skills
Those with dementia still have a great amount of creativity and NEVER stop learning. Have a loved one paint in a simplified setting. You can have them choose a picture they would like to or have them try to copy a photo. You can visit art instruction website, virtual zoo and museum tours and destinations if your loved one liked to travel. Try putting on a cooking show and watching together then make the recipe you watched being made. Remember that using a knife is a skill that some folks with dementia may still know how to do. We tend to take away tasks that our loved ones can accomplish when being a family caregiver. It is important to be mindful that your loved one, can sometimes continue these tasks in a safe manner.


6. Socialization
COVID-19 has put a damper on our Socialization through dining. Dining is a great way to socialize because it is an activity that is done every single day. Dining usually allows your loved one to interact with others and now your loved one may only be interacting with you. Have your loved one set the table, help cook the meal and chat, or clear the table while you are socializing. Incorporate the task with the socialization.

Every interaction should be focused on the physical and emotional wellbeing of your loved one. Create a stimulating environment where they can thrive in mind, body, and spirit.

The Montessori Method can have tremendous benefits for people with dementia, as well as their loved ones. The activities are generally easy to set up, can be modified depending on a person's skillset, and customized from a person’s lifestyle before the diagnosis.

Please give us a call if you need support during this time in caring for your loved one with dementia and think it may be time to plan for when the pandemic restrictions lift. Remember that legal planning for those with dementia is a specialty and it is important to consult with a firm that truly understands this. Paying for care, determining competency, and putting the right care option in place is a process. We have a team of Lawyers and Paralegals who can help walk you through the legal and financial situations you may be facing as your loved one progresses. We also have Certified Dementia Practitioners and Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care trainers as well as a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional on staff who can help you with the process of creating a stimulating environment for your loved one at home while quarantining. Call 609-580-1044 if you would like to discuss your loved one’s expressions or if you would like to start to plan for life ahead.

Boredom and Isolation are never a good mix for the person living with dementia and their caregiver. Throw in a global pandemic, and you may be facing quite a challenge. As abilities decrease and your loved one’s interests fade, it is a challenge to find activities that one can enjoy and feel capable of doing. Especially when there are so many restrictions in place.


The Montessori Dementia Care style approach focuses on re-discovering and supporting the person behind the dementia. Activities with meaning and purpose are put back into people's lives, based on their needs, their interests, their skills, and their abilities. People who have dementia often feel they are always being told what to by others. Here are a few things to focus on to empower your loved one during such challenging times:

1. Cognitive Skills
Cognitive activities can be performed in a variety of different exercises depending on the ability of your loved one. Try incorporating trivia, discussions about current events, newspaper articles, blogs, and other brain challenges for loved ones with higher cognitive abilities. These exercises may not be ideal for those diagnosed with more severe, long-term dementia as short-term memory begins to fade. Instead, try puzzles like matching words with objects or identifying famous landmarks are other tasks that allow the mind to stay active. These puzzles are all modifiable depending on the individual’s skill set. The important thing is to make sure your loved one is engaged and interested.

2. Life Skills
With dementia, an individual's short-term memory may fade, but their long-term memories remain intact. You can absolutely incorporate your loved one's skills, history, and background into life skills activities. If your loved one worked on a farm or had a garden, plan an activity like sorting or planting seeds. Consider a small herb garden which may be easier to manage. This is a chore that could bring back memories from when they were younger. If your loved one was a handyman, simple activities involving hand tools, like using a screwdriver or wrench will allow your loved one to complete an activity using skills that have been developed throughout their life. For those who were homemakers, activities involving baking, folding clothes, or household chores can be simple, and modifiable.

3. Movement
Stick to purposeful movements. Activities involving a full range of motion incorporating slow movements can be calming. Try to incorporate slow, deep breaths in these activities. If your loved one has physical limitations, you can have them seated in a chair. If they are seated, have them motion like they are picking an apple from a tree, painting a fence, stirring a pot, or placing flowers in a vase. These movements are universal and can keep your loved one active and engaged. Consider Chair Tai Chi or Gentle Stretching on YouTube.

4. Sensory
Sensory activities are important and can help keep the whole mind alert. For smell, use cotton balls and essential oils including citrus, lavender, or vanilla. Ask your loved one to identify the scent. For taste, have your loved one put their hands over their eyes. Line up three different bite size types of fruit, have them taste and see if they can identify the fruit.


5. Learning and Learned Skills
Those with dementia still have a great amount of creativity and NEVER stop learning. Have a loved one paint in a simplified setting. You can have them choose a picture they would like to or have them try to copy a photo. You can visit art instruction website, virtual zoo and museum tours and destinations if your loved one liked to travel. Try putting on a cooking show and watching together then make the recipe you watched being made. Remember that using a knife is a skill that some folks with dementia may still know how to do. We tend to take away tasks that our loved ones can accomplish when being a family caregiver. It is important to be mindful that your loved one, can sometimes continue these tasks in a safe manner.


6. Socialization
COVID-19 has put a damper on our Socialization through dining. Dining is a great way to socialize because it is an activity that is done every single day. Dining usually allows your loved one to interact with others and now your loved one may only be interacting with you. Have your loved one set the table, help cook the meal and chat, or clear the table while you are socializing. Incorporate the task with the socialization.

Every interaction should be focused on the physical and emotional wellbeing of your loved one. Create a stimulating environment where they can thrive in mind, body, and spirit.

The Montessori Method can have tremendous benefits for people with dementia, as well as their loved ones. The activities are generally easy to set up, can be modified depending on a person's skillset, and customized from a person’s lifestyle before the diagnosis.

Please give us a call if you need support during this time in caring for your loved one with dementia and think it may be time to plan for when the pandemic restrictions lift. Remember that legal planning for those with dementia is a specialty and it is important to consult with a firm that truly understands this. Paying for care, determining competency, and putting the right care option in place is a process. We have a team of Lawyers and Paralegals who can help walk you through the legal and financial situations you may be facing as your loved one progresses. We also have Certified Dementia Practitioners and Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care trainers as well as a Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional on staff who can help you with the process of creating a stimulating environment for your loved one at home while quarantining. Call 609-580-1044 if you would like to discuss your loved one’s expressions or if you would like to start to plan for life ahead.

 
 Emergencies and crisis can creep up on anyone. If you are not prepared, your family could bear a very heavy burden when handling your estate or financial affairs. Here are some tips to help everyone lighten the load. In times like these,
it is even more important to make a proactive plan and conduct a document check up.
 
Make Sure Your Current Estate Plan is Updated
One of the most important things you can do is to make an estate plan or update your current estate plan. When is the last time you looked at your estate plan? Be sure to conduct a "check up" to be sure your wishes are still the same now as they were when you signed your documents. This will assure you have the proper protection and documents in case you become incapacitated such as a Power of Attorney and Living Will, or if you should pass away, a Last Will and Testament, and Revocable Living Trust.
 
Fund Your Trust or Name Your Beneficiaries
To avoid probate problems, you should properly fund your Revocable Living Trust. Check that all your other financial accounts and policies have beneficiaries named on them. Remember, if you leave assets to any beneficiaries who are minors, a guardian must be named as well to be in charge of the accounts For that reason, it may make more sense to leave assets to a trust for younger beneficiaries. Failing to take these steps will result in your accounts going into your probate estate, and it may be a long process before the estate is settled.
 
Protect Your Assets
There are numerous strategies you can use to protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit, a creditor situation, a divorce, or if you need to enter a long-term care facility with a contract. Asset protection planning, annuity planning, irrevocable trusts, and other forms of Long-Term Care planning are available, and you can discuss these with a qualified estate planning attorney.
 
 Leave Information About Your Documents
If you become incapacitated or pass away, it is so important that your loved ones can access your important documents. This will allow them to handle your financial affairs or settle your estate if needed. Leave a list of all your important digital assets, (passwords and online accounts) in case anything needs to be done with them should you not be able to manage your own affairs.
 
If you would like to get more information about estate planning or if you’d like to discuss your existing estate plan and see how it holds up in this global pandemic, please call (609) 580-1044 to set up your consultation via video conferencing or telephone.
 

Having an updated will is more important than ever, especially in these challenging times. However, a will that is poorly created or not updated can be vulnerable to contestation. What is contestation? It is the formal objection to a will’s (or trust’s) validity because it: a) does not reflect the wishes of the person who created the will, or b) because the will does not meet legal standards.

Will contests should be avoided at all costs. Not only can a contest go against your final wishes, but it can also deplete your estate and wreak emotional havoc on your family members that are left behind. With proper planning, you can proactively prevent that from happening.

Who Can Contest a Will?

Will contests are usually brought on by family members, close friends, or business partners who believe they have been wrongly disinherited. However, not all your family or friends have the ability to contest your will in court. They must have legal “standing” to file a lawsuit. Standing means that a person involved in a lawsuit will be personally affected by the outcome of the case.

The following people can contest a will in probate court:

  • Current beneficiaries that are named in the will
  • Previous beneficiaries who were disinherited but were once included in a previous will
  • An individual not named in the will but who would be eligible to inherit property based on a state’s intestacy laws (a spouse or biological child)

If a will is successfully contested, the court will declare the will invalid. If there is a previous will, then the court will follow those terms. If there are no other estate planning documents, the state’s laws of intestacy will decide who inherits which property. As you may expect, this can be a terrible outcome for your intended beneficiaries.

Planning tip: Depending on your goals and circumstances, a trust can have superior benefits to a will; like offering better asset protection and enhanced privacy by keeping your personal information out of probate (a public process all wills must go through). If you’d like to learn more about the differences between trusts and will, and see what may be the best option for you, call our office 609-580-1044.

What Are the Legal Grounds for Contesting a Will?

If a person does have the legal standing to challenge your will, they must prove that the will is invalid due to one of these four reasons:

  • The will is faulty or incomplete. Each state has specific laws that dictate how a will or trust must be signed for it to be legally valid. A will that has not followed these rules—signed without the proper number of witnesses, signatures missing, or omitting important text—could be contested.
  • Lack of mental capacity. Having the capacity to make a will means that the person understands (a) their assets, (b) their family relationships, and (c) the legal effect of signing a will. Each state has laws that set the threshold that must be overcome to prove that a person lacked sufficient mental capacity to sign a will.
  • The person making the will was unduly influenced into signing it. As people age and become physically and mentally weaker, others may exert influence over decisions, including how to plan their estate. Undue influence can be exerted on the young and the not so young. Undue influence is more than just nagging or verbal threats. It must be so extreme that it causes you to give in and change your estate plan to favor the undue influencer who may be manipulating you.
  • The will was procured by fraud. A will or trust that is signed by someone who thinks they are signing some other type of document or a document with different provisions is one that is procured by fraud.

How to Avoid a Will Contest

Considering the time and expense, will contests are something you’ll want to avoid. Not only would it jeopardize your final wishes but it also causes unnecessary and painful conflict among your loved ones during an already emotionally trying time. To avoid these disastrous and painful scenarios, consider the following:

  • Do not “do it yourself”! Even the smallest mistake can leave your wishes vulnerable to being contested by an unhappy relative or business partner. Only an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to help you create and maintain a plan that will discourage lawsuits.
  • Discuss your wishes with your family. It’s important to discuss your wishes with your family. You don’t have to discuss all of the intimate details of your estate plan, but letting beneficiaries know of your wishes and setting expectations now can help avoid future will contests.
  • Don’t just disinherit wayward child(ren). Instead of completely disinheriting a beneficiary who may squander their inheritance or use it against your wishes, you can hold their inheritance in a lifetime discretionary trust, which would be overseen by a trusted individual or third party. Your beneficiary would receive distributions over time instead of outright cash in a lump sum.
  • Keep your will up to date. Life changes—new family members are born or loved ones pass away, property is acquired, marriages or divorce happen, and your wishes may also change along with those changes. Your will is only effective when it reflects these changing circumstances. Having an updated will/estate plan that encompasses your current goals will be better at discouraging any future challenges.

The Bottom Line on Will Contests

Will and trust contests are happening often. Putting together an estate plan that is designed to be proactive will go a long way to giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.

While it is easy to assume that a will or trust signed in an attorney’s office is valid, this is not always the case. Attorneys who do not specialize in estate planning may be unfamiliar with the formalities required to make a will or trust legally valid in their state. It is important for you to work with an attorney who is familiar with the estate planning laws of your state. Ensuring that your estate plan is protected against these legal grounds is particularly important if you wish to disinherit or favor one part of your family.

Our office can help you create and maintain an estate plan that will be difficult to overturn. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation at 609-580-1044.

 
 You cannot exactly leave your pet money in a will, but there are several things you can do to make sure they stay well cared for when you can no longer take care of them. Here are some options:
  • Leave your pet to someone in your will or living trust and give them some money to be able to provide care. Be sure to have a discussion with the person in mind prior to doing this.
  • Create a pet trust to leave money to go toward caring for your animal(s).
  • Find a charitable organization who has a program to provide or find a home for your animal
The easiest way to assure that you will provide care for your pet after you die is to leave your pet (and some money) through a provision in your will or living trust. The person you name will become the owner of your pet and will receive outright any money you leave to him or her for your pet’s care. Keep in mind the person you name will not have any legal obligation to care for your pet or use the money in any particular way. Make sure you are naming someone you trust and remember you can leave instructions for your pet’s care in a separate document.
 
One estate planning tool you can use to create a legal obligation to care for your pet is a Pet Trust. In this document, you name a person to care for your pet, provide specific instructions for your pet’s care, and leave money just for that purpose. When you die, the person named as trustee will get the money as well as the pet. Under a pet trust, the trustee will have to follow your instructions and use the money only for the care of your pet, unlike a provision in a will or living trust.
 
Perhaps you just want to prepare if you are temporarily unable to care for your animals. If you get injured today, what will happen to your furry friend? Who would care for them? In honor of National Pet Month, Van Dyck Law is creating a Pet Emergency Card where you can name a personal representative who would be called should you have an accident or if you fall ill to come care for your pet. We always talk about the importance of preparing for what is to come. Our pets are our family members. Simply reach out to to request your Pet Emergency Card. We will ask just a bit of information including your pet’s name and breed who you would want someone to call in case of an emergency. As always, we are here for your estate plan needs which will always include your pets. If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss creating a pet trust or getting started with an estate plan to protect all of your family members, please call our office at 609-580-1044 and we will help you plan for life ahead.  

 

Contact Us Today!

Van Dyck Law, LLC

707 State Road, Suite 102
Princeton, NJ 08540

(609) 580-1044