Parrots can live for many, many years. Species, such as the Macaw have been known to live into their eighties and nineties. If your bird is healthy and well-cared for, there is a possibility he/she may outlive you. If this is the case, you will want to consider who will care for your parrot after you die. Don’t assume this will automatically be arranged.
Think about it… you devote 20 or 30 years of your life to caring for your Feathered Friend. You’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands …….your bird has been well-cared for the majority of his/her life. Then suddenly you become ill and pass away. What will happen to your feathered friend now?
Since parrots are exotic pets that require specialized care, they are not as easy to place as traditional pets. You will want to make sure you do the responsible thing and provide for your bird.
A Will or a Pet Trust?
You can bequeath your parrot to a specific person in your will, on the condition that they will care for your bird. You can also leave a specific amount of money, which will go to that person, to care for your parrot. The problem with simply bequeathing your parrot to someone in your will is that they may or may not follow through with your wishes. They may take the money you left for your bird’s needs and spend it on something else. Or they may get rid of your parrot all together.
A Pet Trust is a much safer alternative, as these are legally enforceable. A Pet Trust is when you leave a specific amount of money in a trust for your parrot. A trustee is appointed to oversee the management of these funds and to make sure they are used in accordance with your wishes. The trustee will pay a designated caregiver a specific sum each month to ensure that your parrot’s needs are met.
How do I Set Up a Pet Trust ?
The first step is to contact a lawyer and enlist his help. Keep in mind that there are a few states that do not have provisions for pet trusts. You will also need to select someone to be your trustee and caretaker. Make sure they are willing to assume these responsibilities before legally appointing them. Things you will need to consider when setting up your trust include:
- How much money to designate for your bird’s care. To help you figure this out, estimate how much you spend on your bird annually and multiply this by the number of years you expect your pet to live.
- Guidelines for your pet’s care. A pet trust enables you to spell out exactly how you want your pet to be cared for. If he has a special diet or exercise routine you want to keep consistent, spell it out in your trust.
I know this topic is so hard for most of us……My husband and I have been working on what we should do for the last 6 months. However, it is just so important for everyone to do for their feather friends.