Last week, apartmenttherapy.com had a story about millennials creating prenups for their pets. A client of mine sent me the article since we had used her estate plan to create a pet trust. She is currently single but wanted to know if a pet prenup would work for her in case she started seeing someone. So far, I haven’t created a prenup specifically for a client’s pet. But based on the article, it sounds like I may encounter one sooner rather than later.
How Did We Get to a Pet Prenup?
Over the years, my clients have come to me with a variety of ideas of how to take care of their pets. Usually, it has been in the estate planning realm. But according to the article, it is becoming increasingly common for millennials to create a prenup. One of the biggest motivating forces apparently is to address the issue of their pets. They are less likely to own homes, cars or have children so their pet may be their most important “asset”. Although it sounds cruel, the law still treats pets as “property.” And the article also points out that pets can be a major bone of contention in divorce proceedings. In the UK, lawyers can spend about 25 hours on pet issues in a divorce!
Adding Pets to Your Prenup
Since they are technically property, adding a pet provision to your prenup is not a major undertaking. Like any other asset, if you are going into the marriage with a pet, you should have a plan in case you end up splitting up. Otherwise, you could be spending a lot of money on lawyers to sort out where your pet will live. I can actually picture a bad sitcom episode where the two pet parents are standing in front of a dog asking it to choose who to go to…
Summer wedding season is upon us. So if you are getting your prenup prepared, it’s probably smart to discuss what happens to your pets as well.
If you’ve got pets and are getting married this summer, or if you’re already married and are considering a postnup to address your pets, call my office to set up a meeting and we can review the best options for you – (877) AMAYERS.