By Steven D. Baker
If you are reading this article, then you do not need to be reminded of how significant one’s pet can be. Accordingly, over the past few years, a number of articles have appeared in popular publications regarding estate planning for pets. Nonetheless, most professional estate planners dismiss this area as frivolous, primarily for practical reasons.
However, the longevity of many species of parrots is unique in the pet world. In the case of a parrot, the likelihood of the pet outliving its owner (and living for many years thereafter) is far greater than with dogs or cats. Thus, this author, who is both an estate-planning attorney and a parrot owner (or more accurately, I am owned by my parrot), has come to recognize the practical need for estate planning for parrots.
This article is intended to assist you, the reader, with the process of planning for the care of your parrot when you are no longer able to do so. Much of the focus is on estate planning, but you should also consider these alternatives in the context of your disability or incapacity.
The Oasis Sanctuary receives numerous letters and telephone calls from people working on Estate Plans who wish to leave their birds to The Oasis when they die and need guidelines to help them set this up in their Will. Often these people also wish to provide financial support for their birds and want information on how to assure that their wishes are carried out upon their death or their inability to care for their birds. A commonly asked question is “how much money does The Oasis require in order to take a bird?”