Do Frequent Flier Miles Expire When You Do?

Airplane flying above clouds toward sunset.

Accumulated frequent flier miles can be valuable assets, but what happens to those miles after someone dies? Can a spouse or other heirs inherit them, or do the miles simply evaporate like a contrail?

Whether they can be inherited depends on the airline, and in most cases, airlines will point out in their terms and conditions that frequent flier miles are not, in fact, your property. Regardless, even if the airline’s official policy is “no,” with a little perseverance, there is always the chance that the answer could be “yes.”

Here’s a look at several major airlines’ current mileage transfer rules:

Alaska Airlines’ Memorial Miles

Alaska Airlines, according to travel website and blog The Points Guy, may require only a copy of a death certificate to transfer your deceased loved one’s miles to you – without a fee. Call 1-800-654-5669 to reach Alaska Airlines customer service.

Transferring Miles With American Airlines

While current AAdvantage members do have the ability to move their miles to another member’s account (with the payment of fees and certain limitations), American Airlines will not generally allow for accrued mileage credit to be “transferable by the member upon death.” That said, the airline’s regulations do seem to offer such transfers in certain cases: “American Airlines, in its sole discretion, may credit accrued mileage to persons specifically identified in … wills upon receipt of documentation satisfactory to American Airlines and upon payment of any applicable fees.”

If your deceased loved one was an AAdvantage member, it may be worth a visit to American Airlines’ Buy, Gift, and Transfer Miles webpage to learn more.

JetBlue’s Points Pooling

In 2018, JetBlue launched the Points Pooling program to its TrueBlue loyalty members. Two to seven TrueBlue members, regardless of whether they are family, can join a “pool” and each contribute their points to it. Any member of your pool can leave their unused points for the remaining members of their pool to redeem. In theory, this would allow you to inherit the points of a loved one who passes away.

United Airlines: MileagePlus

For United Airlines customers who are part of the MileagePlus Program, it may be possible to transfer accumulated United Airlines miles upon the death of an individual.

Similar to American, the following is outlined on the airline’s website: “In the event of the death … of a Member, United may, in its sole discretion, credit all or a portion of such Member’s accrued mileage to authorized persons upon receipt of documentation satisfactory to United and payment of applicable fees.”

Call United’s customer service line at 1-800-421-4655 for guidance on the airline’s Transfer Miles Program.

Delta SkyMiles

Looking to transfer miles from a deceased Delta SkyMiles member into your name?

If you have the login details for their account, you may be able to make the transfer online via Delta’s website. Consider opening your own SkyMiles account first to simplify the process. Note that Delta charges 1¢ for each mile transferred, plus a $30 processing fee. Taxes may also apply. Miles can be transferred in 1,000-mile increments, and the maximum that can be transferred from one SkyMiles account to another is 150,000 miles per year.

Even if you have only the name of the individual and their SkyMiles number, you may still consider calling Delta’s SkyMiles customer service number at 800-323-2323 to ask for help.

Southwest Airlines

The account of a Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards member who dies will become inactive and the points will be unavailable, according to the airline. In fact, its site explicitly states: “Points may not be transferred to a Member’s estate or as part of a settlement, inheritance, or will.”

Plan Ahead for Your Own Loved Ones

If you are part of an airline loyalty program and have accumulated a substantial number of miles, you may want to give your loved ones the details they need to access your frequent flier accounts so that they can log in directly in the event of your death.

Or, ask your estate planning attorney about how to go about adding into your will your wishes for passing those miles along to someone, should your preferred airline allow it.  Reach out here to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan

Thanks to All for Support in Walk to End Alzheimer’s


It was a blustery day on Sunday, October 3rd when we gathered to participate in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Thanks to our clients, colleagues, friends and staff for being part of our efforts on behalf of the 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

If you missed it, look for our activity next year. We gather a team every year to support this cause which is close to our hearts.

Pictured here are some members of this year’s MSW team from our walk at Roger Williams Park.

Held around the nation, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

What Are Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts?

Paper cutouts of a family with a house, covered by an umbrella labeled 'Medicaid.'Medicaid imposes strict rules on how much money and assets an applicant can have. To qualify for Medicaid, you must fall under the asset limit, which is $2,000 in most states.

Even with greater than $2,000 in assets, however, you may be able to get on Medicaid by establishing a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). When you put your assets in a MAPT, Medicaid will not count the money in the trust toward its resource limit.

Using Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts to Transfer Assets

After you create a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, you no longer own the assets within it, allowing you to qualify for Medicaid following the five-year lookback period. People who are currently healthy but plan to go on Medicaid in the future might choose to use this Medicaid planning strategy.

It is essential to understand that MAPTs are irrevocable: Once you make the trust, you cannot change your mind and take those assets back. Your trust must be irrevocable for you to qualify for Medicaid because it means that you no longer own or control these assets.

In contrast to MAPTs, many types of revocable trusts, such as family trusts, are often ineffective in preparing for Medicaid. Having the power to revoke your trust would allow to retain control over your assets, and Medicaid would count the contents of your trust as part of your resources.

Creating a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust

Three parties are involved in a MAPT: the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiary. When you make a trust, you become the grantor, the person who places assets into the trust. The trustee manages the trust, and the beneficiary — or beneficiaries — will receive your assets.

If you want your MAPT to ensure you qualify for Medicaid, you must name someone other than yourself or your spouse as the beneficiary. Designating yourself as the beneficiary would mean giving yourself assets, which Medicaid would count toward its asset limit.

You can, however, select your children or parents as beneficiaries. Using a MAPT, you can also make sure they get those assets when you pass away.

What Can You Place in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust?

As part of your Medicaid planning strategy, you can place many types of assets in a MAPT, including:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Real estate that is not your primary residence
  • In most states, your home

Although many states allow you to place your home in MAPT so that it will not count toward Medicaid’s resource limit after five years, Medicaid regulations vary by state. In Michigan, for example, placing your home in a MAPT will not prevent it from counting toward the asset limit.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts offer several benefits to individuals planning to apply for Medicaid:

  • MAPTs preserve generational wealth, safeguarding assets for family members.
  • After you pass away, the state cannot take your assets from your beneficiaries to reimburse them for your long-term care, as MAPTs avoid probate.
  • Since nursing home fees can be exorbitant, MAPTs can save your family money, as they let you qualify for Medicaid once the lookback period has ended.

The drawbacks of MAPTs include the following:

  • Once you establish a MAPT, you forfeit the control and use of your assets. If you need money, you will not be able to draw from the trust.
  • The fees associated with preparing a MAPT can be costly, ranging from $2,000 to $12,000.

To learn about how using a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust could help you plan for your future, reach out to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan.

ElderCounsel, the creator of Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPTs), offers them on its website.

What Is the Difference Between a Springing and Non-Springing Power of Attorney?

Man signing power of attorney document.A power of attorney is a document that grants various powers and responsibilities to a trusted third party or “agent” who can act on your behalf. This document usually only allows an agent to make non-medical decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney can be a valuable planning tool that lets you decide in advance who will manage your affairs should you become unable to do so. It can also be a way to avoid expensive guardianship or conservatorship proceedings if you become disabled or incapacitated.

The way a power of attorney is formalized varies from state to state. Some states have particular requirements and wording that must be in a power of attorney for it to be valid and accepted. You may have heard of the terms “springing” and “non-springing” power of attorney and wonder what they mean.

Springing Power of Attorney

A springing power of attorney is a document executed now, but that does not take effect unless the principal becomes incapacitated or a particular event occurs. This type of power of attorney is contingent on something specific happening before it comes into force. If the event or incapacity never occurs, an agent will not be empowered to act on behalf of the principal.

Many people want a springing power of attorney because they feel more comfortable knowing their agent can only exercise powers if a triggering event occurs. This can alleviate any concern that the agent may try to misuse a power of attorney.

A springing power of attorney is not always easy to use. Depending on your jurisdiction, it may be necessary to have a medical professional such as a doctor certify that a triggering condition has occurred.

Let’s say you become medically incapacitated. Where required, the professional will likely have to complete an affidavit attesting to your condition or that certain events occurred. Often, a medical professional will not be comfortable signing an affidavit or may require their own attorney to advise them on how to proceed. This can cause delays that can frustrate an agent’s ability to act, especially in time-sensitive situations.

Additionally, financial institutions may be reluctant to accept this type of power of attorney because it is difficult for them to judge whether you truly are incapacitated or if a triggering event has in fact occurred. A certain amount of caution on the part of financial institutions is understandable: When someone steps forward claiming to represent the account holder, the financial institution wants to verify that the individual indeed has the authority to act for the principal.

Non-Springing Power of Attorney

With a non-springing power of attorney, the agent has the powers granted in the document the moment it is signed by you and the agent(s) you designate. So, even if you are capable of signing for yourself or handling certain transactions, your agent could still sign for you without your involvement.

How Some States Approach Powers of Attorney

Many states have taken steps to address some of these problems. New York, for example, implemented a statutory form in 2021 that, if filled out and executed correctly, financial and other institutions will be more likely to accept. In particular, it has a provision where the agent agrees to reimburse the third party for any claims that may arise against the third party because of reliance on a power of attorney.

To help limit the potential for abuse by an agent, New York’s form also allows a power of attorney to be narrowly tailored to a specific purpose.

The laws of each state will vary when it comes to powers of attorney. For guidance on a springing or non-springing power of attorney, reach out to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan

Can a Nursing Home Hold Friends or Family Members Responsible For a Resident’s Care?

View of woman's hands as she reviews contract with health care provider before signing.If your loved one is entering a nursing home, you may worry whether you could be liable for their care. Under federal law, a facility cannot require a family member or friend to co-sign an admission agreement and take on personal liability. However, nursing homes around the country still try to do so, and often these matters end up in court.

What can you do to prevent this from happening to you? It starts with educating yourself on what is and is not allowed.

A law known as the Federal Nursing Home Reform Law prohibits a nursing home or facility from requiring or asking for a financial guarantee from a third party. Federal regulations regarding Medicare and Medicaid have similar restrictions.

These laws and regulations state that a home cannot have a resident’s family member or friend co-sign an admission agreement to take on financial liability. However, a nursing facility may obtain the signature of the resident’s agent, who has access to the resident’s income or assets, agreeing to use these resources to pay for care. Still, this agreement may not impose personal financial liability on the agent.

Review Before You Sign

If you are assisting a loved one with entering a nursing home, you should carefully review all the admission paperwork before you sign it. Many facilities have unscrupulous practices of using admission agreements that violate federal law or regulations.

You do not have to sign or “volunteer” to sign a financial guarantee that makes you personally responsible. It is incorrect if a nursing home claims a guarantee is necessary because the federal law only applies to Medicaid-eligible individuals. Nursing homes are also not allowed to condition admitting or keeping a person on receipt of a third-party guarantee.

Today, the most common tactic used by nursing homes is an admission agreement that obligates the signor as an agent with supposed control over the resident’s money. These agreements stipulate the agent will apply these resources to the nursing home expenses and apply for Medicaid on the resident’s behalf. Often, the person signing this document doesn’t know how to handle this situation, does not have this control, or makes mistakes in the resident’s Medicaid application, causing coverage to be denied.

What follows may be a lawsuit by the nursing home, claiming the agent violated their duties in the agreement and must pay the care costs. Courts have gone both ways on whether these agreements are enforceable, and the agent’s conduct often influences a court’s decision. Egregious conduct can lead to courts ruling in favor of the nursing home. An example is where an agent used the resident’s money for luxury items or other people’s expenses rather than their loved one’s care.

Plan Ahead As Much As Possible

The best action is to plan before nursing home care is necessary. This can put you or your loved ones in a position to be ready to apply for Medicaid should the need arise. At the same time, an aging individual can do proper asset protection planning and avoid look-back periods creditors could otherwise exploit against the resident or an agent.

However, this is not always possible for many older adults and their family members. Individuals who will take on the responsibility of being an agent should understand what this entails and seek the advice of your elder law attorney before starting the admission process.

To learn more, reach out to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan

What Is a Life Estate?

Single-family home with yard.The phrase “life estate” often comes up in discussions of estate and Medicaid planning, but what exactly does it mean? A life estate is a form of joint ownership that allows one person to remain in a house until his or her death, when it passes to the other owner. Life estates can be used to avoid probate and to give a house to children without giving up the ability to live in it. They also can play an important role in Medicaid planning.

In a life estate, two or more people each have an ownership interest in a property, but for different periods of time. The person holding the life estate — the life tenant — possesses the property during his or her life. The other owner — the remainderman — has a current ownership interest but cannot take possession until the death of the life estate holder. The life tenant has full control of the property during his or her lifetime and has the legal responsibility to maintain the property as well as the right to use it, rent it out, and make improvements to it.

When the life tenant dies, the house will not go through probate, since at the life tenant’s death the ownership will pass automatically to the holders of the remainder interest. Because the property is not included in the life tenant’s probate estate, it can avoid Medicaid estate recovery in states that have not expanded the definition of estate recovery to include non-probate assets. Even if the state does place a lien on the property to recoup Medicaid costs, the lien will be for the value of the life estate, not the full value of the property.

Although the property will not be included in the probate estate, it will be included in the taxable estate. Depending on the size of the estate and the state’s estate tax threshold, the property may be subject to estate taxation.

The life tenant cannot sell or mortgage the property without the agreement of the remaindermen. If the property is sold, the proceeds are divided up between the life tenant and the remaindermen. The shares are determined based on the life tenant’s age at the time — the older the life tenant, the smaller his or her share and the larger the share of the remaindermen.

Be aware that transferring your property and retaining a life estate can trigger a Medicaid ineligibility period if you apply for Medicaid within five years of the transfer. Purchasing a life estate should not result in a transfer penalty if you buy a life estate in someone else’s home, pay an appropriate amount for the property and live in the house for more than a year.

For example, an elderly man who can no longer live in his home might sell the home and use the proceeds to buy a home for himself and his son and daughter-in-law, with the father holding a life estate and the younger couple as the remaindermen. Alternatively, the father could purchase a life estate interest in the children’s existing home. Assuming the father lives in the home for more than a year and he paid a fair amount for the life estate, the purchase of the life estate should not be a disqualifying transfer for Medicaid. Just be aware that there may be some local variations on how this is applied, so check with your attorney.

To find out if a life estate is the right plan for you, reach out to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan

Don’t Yet Want Your Heirs to Know About Your Assets? Use a Quiet Trust in Your Estate Plan

Young woman demanding money.Trusts are great tools for leaving assets to your heirs while maintaining control over their access to those assets. In many cases, you would tell your beneficiaries that you have made a trust for them. However, this is not always desirable — and this is where a “quiet” trust may be helpful.

A quiet trust is a trust created much like other trusts, but with little to no notice given to its beneficiaries. A person, called a grantor, places assets in a trust managed by someone who is appointed as a trustee.

The trust document may provide that income will only be distributed to a beneficiary once specific conditions are met — for example, when the grantor passes away or the beneficiary reaches a certain age. It may further require that no information regarding the accounting of the trust, what the trust owns, or other details will be provided to a beneficiary until certain conditions or timeframes occur.

Advantages of a Quiet Trust

Many people turn to quiet trusts for their children or grandchildren. They want to avoid their heirs relying on these future resources and becoming complacent instead of developing themselves financially or professionally. The idea is that if the beneficiaries don’t know about the money, they will work harder to create their own wealth and develop good financial habits. Many trust grantors hope that this personal development will make it more likely that once their heirs receive income or assets in a trust, they will be better equipped to manage and preserve these resources.

In other situations, you may wish to keep a trust a secret as a matter of privacy. A quiet trust can control the number of people who know about the trust. This can prevent family disputes if one person will receive more than another. It can also prevent heirs from talking too much about what they may receive, misusing the information, or being taken advantage of. For example, some parents may be concerned about their children’s creditors or anyone trying to get close to them for the wrong reasons.

A quiet trust can shield your loved ones from these problems and help them overcome any disincentive to develop themselves to be the best they can be. In addition, just like an ordinary trust, a quiet trust can be used for estate tax planning and avoiding the lengthy and expensive probate process. Depending on how they are set up, quiet trusts can also delay when the assets are taxed as income.

When a Quiet Trust May Not Make Sense

However, there are situations where a quiet trust may not work for you or your family. For one, you may wish to involve your children in your financial planning or discussions about your assets.

Sometimes keeping information secret can also backfire. Your heirs may not be prepared for suddenly receiving large sums of money or investments if they are unaware of them. For example, if you leave them rental property and they have moved to another state by the time they receive it, they may not be able to manage the property easily.

The lack of disclosure may also create a certain amount of distrust or resentment.

Setting Up A Quiet Trust

How you set up a quiet trust will likely vary based on state law. The basic process involves drafting a trust agreement, transferring assets, and implementing the terms of the trust. You should ensure that the person you choose to manage your trust is someone on whom you can rely. The wrong person could mishandle assets, fail to keep proper accounting, or miss deadlines for filing tax returns.

This process is best overseen by an attorney and other professionals, such as a financial planner and CPA familiar with trusts.

For guidance on quiet trusts, reach out to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan

Be Cautious of Generic Health Care Proxy Forms

Senior woman wearing mask sitting on hospital bed while doctor wearing mask fills out form.Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff work hard to care for their patients when they are sick or hurt. However, even when a procedure is done to save a patient’s life, a hospital cannot act without patient consent. If a patient cannot speak for themselves and express their wishes, the hospital relies on what is known as a health care proxy form.

If you have ever been admitted to the hospital, you have likely been asked to sign a health care proxy form. Hospitals use proxy forms to obtain consent in advance from patients in case they become incapacitated and medical professionals need to administer medication, perform surgery, or otherwise treat the patient. However, the generic version used by most hospitals can fall short for many patients and may infringe upon their autonomy. Always be cautious when you sign a boilerplate document.

What Is a Health Care Proxy?

A health care proxy is a form that a patient uses to name an agent who will carry out their wishes regarding medical care if the patient cannot speak for themselves. Having a health care proxy specifically tailored to your needs can be important. For example, you can outline what kind of treatment you do — or do not want — if you become terminally ill or are in a coma; at the same time, you can indicate other wishes, such as whether you would want pain medication administered or your organs donated.

The agent only has the power to make decisions on the patient’s behalf once a doctor confirms that the patient requires medical attention but cannot advocate for themselves. The agent’s power ends when the patient can once again state their treatment preferences. Appointing an alternate agent is a good idea, too.

What Is the Problem with Signing a Generic Health Care Proxy?

A health care proxy is important because it instructs your agent to speak for you and, if well-written, it will give specific instructions about what medical treatments you want and which treatments you refuse. An estate plan is not complete unless it includes a health care proxy form.

The problem with relying on the generic health care proxy form the hospital provides is that, in some cases, these forms will not take your individual wishes into account. Every person treated at the emergency room or admitted into the hospital signs the same health care proxy form. Anything that could have a life-or-death consequence should be tailored to you and specifically address your needs.

If you have a health care proxy, inform the hospital staff so they can make the document a part of your medical record.

How Can I Complete My Own Health Care Proxy?

Part of creating an estate plan is having a health care proxy drafted. If you have not created an estate plan or health care proxy,  reach out to the MSW team: Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan


Plan Ahead Before Seeking Nursing Home Care: Avoid Unnecessary Debt for You and Your Family

Senior African American couple consult with attorney.Many senior citizens may need the services of a nursing home or at-home care at some point in their life. You might assume that government assistance or health insurance will step in and cover the cost if you cannot afford these services. Unfortunately, neither health insurance nor Medicare covers long-term care. Because obtaining long-term care insurance can be very expensive, Medicaid could become your only option.

Medicaid coverage is not a given, however. If you have assets or recently transferred assets, Medicaid may determine you do not qualify for coverage until a certain amount of time has passed. If this happens, you and their family can face significant medical bills. If you cannot pay, nursing homes may take you to court to get reimbursed.

What steps can you take to avoid this? First, before applying for Medicaid, get a better understanding of the timelines in your state – known as lookback periods – that can affect your eligibility. Then you can engage in proper Medicaid or asset protection planning in advance of these timeframes. A good age to begin planning is around age 65, although everyone’s situation is different.

Individual states run Medicaid programs, and every state has different rules regarding Medicaid eligibility. These programs were designed as a payor of last resort — in other words, to qualify, you must meet strict requirements. There are two primary types of Medicaid benefits: home care and skilled nursing home care.

Lookback Periods

You must submit an application to your local Medicaid office to qualify for these benefits. As part of this process, the state will look at any money or property you may have transferred within a certain lookback period. In New York, for example, this period of time will soon be 30 months for home care and 60 months for skilled nursing care.

These lookback periods can have serious consequences. If you have not engaged in appropriate asset protection planning, you may not be able to qualify for home care or nursing home care for many months. The result is that many elderly individuals must then spend down their savings and liquidate their assets to pay privately for their home care before Medicaid starts covering anything. If a person no longer has resources and is subject to a disqualification penalty period, family members may have to step in and bear these costs on their own.

So, what can you do? The answer is to start planning as soon as is practical.

Options to Explore

Speaking with an elder law attorney can help you and your loved ones explore options available to avoid you or them being personally responsible for the costs of your care.

  • Medicaid Asset Protection Trust — One common approach is placing assets in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. You may be able to use this to shelter various assets such as stock accounts, savings, a home with unprotected equity, and much more.
  • Pooled Income Trust — Another option you may explore is contributing income that exceeds Medicaid allowances to a Pooled Income Trust. This can allow you to qualify for Medicaid while diverting excess income to a trust that pays qualified expenses on your behalf. This will enable you to benefit from the income and not spend it on things Medicaid could have otherwise covered.
  • Spousal Refusal — Your spouse may also have options that can help you qualify for Medicaid. One such option includes exercising a right of spousal refusal — a process available in some states by which the income and assets of your spouse can be removed from consideration in your Medicaid eligibility analysis.

Finally, an attorney can help you understand if certain transfers are permissible under Medicaid rules without triggering a penalty period.

Without proper planning, individuals with assets and income exceeding specific state-set thresholds would have to spend this income and their assets on their care or exempt items before they can receive Medicaid benefits.

For assistance in planning, reach out to the MSW team: contact Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan.

Four Provisions People Often Forget to Include in Their Estate Plan

Even if you’ve created an estate plan, are you sure you included everything you need to? There are certain provisions that people often forget to put in a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on a family.

1. Alternate Beneficiaries

One of the most important things your estate plan should include is at least one alternative beneficiary in case the named beneficiary does not outlive you or is unable to claim under the will. If a will names a beneficiary who isn’t able to take possession of the property, your assets may pass as though you didn’t have a will at all. This means state law will determine who gets your property, not you. By providing an alternative beneficiary, you can make sure that the property goes where you want it to go.

2. Personal Possessions and Family Heirlooms

Not all heirlooms are worth a lot of money, but they may contain sentimental value. It is a good idea to be clear about which family members should get which items. You can write a list directly into your will, but this makes it difficult if you want to add items or delete items. A personal property memorandum is a separate document that details which friends and family members get what personal property. In some states, if the document is referenced in the will, it is legally binding. Even if the document is not legally binding, it is helpful to leave instructions for your heirs to avoid confusion and bickering.

3. Digital Assets

More and more, we are conducting business online. What happens to these online assets and accounts after you die? There are some steps you can take to help your family deal with your digital property. You should make a list of all of your online accounts, including e-mail, financial accounts, social media accounts, and anywhere else you conduct business online. Include your username and password for each account. Also, include access information for your digital devices, including smartphones and computers. And then you need to make sure the agent under your durable power of attorney and the personal representative named in your will have authority to deal with your online accounts.

4. Pets

Pets are beloved members of the family, but they can’t take care of themselves after you are gone. While you can’t leave property directly to a pet, you can name a caretaker in your will and leave that person money to care for the pet. Don’t forget to name an alternative beneficiary as well. If you want more security, in some states, you can set up a pet trust. With a pet trust, the trustee makes payments on a regular basis to your pet’s caregiver and pays for your pet’s needs as they come up.

Make sure your will and estate plan take care of all your needs. To learn more, reach out to the MSW team: contact Amy Stratton or Kristen Prull Moonan.