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Louisiana probate: Naming a pet as a beneficiary

There is no shortage of animal lovers in the state of Louisiana. While people may love their pets, many do not consider what will happen to these loved ones when they are no longer around to care for them. Everyone dies and those who want to make sure their pets are provided for when that happens may include instructions in their estate plans regarding where the animals should go and how much money should be set aside for their care. A probate law attorney can help with this.

Pet provisions in an estate plan are not anything new, but they are something not commonly talked about -- except when a celebrity has left a large sum to his or her pet, such as in the Karl Lagerfeld case. The famous designer died in Feb. 2019 and his beloved cat is set to inherit millions. Just how much the cat will receive has not been reported. 

There are no laws against making a pet a beneficiary. It is just necessary to make sure the right provisions are included in one's estate plan in order to ensure one's wishes are carried out. In order for a pet to be a beneficiary, a trustee needs to be designated to manage the animal's inheritance. A custodian should also be named to make sure the pet goes to someone the primary trusts to care for the animal the same way he or she did. How much one leaves to a pet depends on the size of a person's estate and the standard of living one wishes for the animal to maintain.

Louisiana residents who wish to name their pets as beneficiaries can do so, but failing to go about it the right way can result in the animal being left with nothing. Those who would like to make sure their pets are well taken care of can speak to a probate attorney about what they need to do to make it happen. With the right assistance, a valid estate plan that includes pet provisions can be put in place.

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