Pet Planning

With our life and legacy planning model, we help you confidently make legal and financial decisions so you know you have a plan to care for your pets without going to court after you pass.

Our Approach

You love your furry or feathered family member(s); you feed them; you groom them; you ensure they live a secure, healthy, and happy life.  They take you on walks and enjoy playtime with you.  In short, they are family.   

Have you considered what would happen to your loved one if or when you are no longer around?  If you were injured or disabled, could you be certain that your pet’s future would be secure?   According to animal welfare organization “2nd Chance 4 Pets,” over 500,000 pets are abandoned each year due to the death or disability of their human family.”

Your pet may require legal representation to safeguard your desires for their future wellbeing.  Ensuring that they are properly cared for after their owner’s death or incapacity is a primary concern for us.  Even if friends or family choose to adopt your pet, will they have the resources to provide the same standard of care that you provided.  How do you find reliable options beyond the family to care of your  treasured pet-family?  Perhaps a Pet Trust could be an important consideration.

We help:

  • Individuals
  • Couples
  • Parents with children
  • Middle and high net worth families
  • All families
  • Dog and cat lovers
  • Everyone in between if you have anyone or anything you care about, love, and want to protect

How can a pet trust assist you and your family pet(s)?

The state of Alabama allows a trust to be created to provide for the care of your pet(s); indeed, this is an authoritative legal document which provides the opportunity to allocate the necessary funds to ensure your pet’s future care.  A Pet Trust is a legal document that gives you the ability to not only set aside funds for your pet’s future care but also to stipulate exactly what kind of care you expect your pet-family to receive.

  • Control every aspect of your pet’s future care
  • Specify their foods, medicines, exercise, grooming, schedules, and of course, even their customary veterinarian.
  • The Trust is Revocable, so it can be amended at any time
  • You may designate a separate trustee to oversee the funds and create a “checks and balances” system within your trust
  • The Trust can be activated if you become disabled or incapacitated (a Will does not provide this option)
  • And because a Pet Trust is fully enforceable by the Courts of the State of Alabama, you will have peace of mind knowing that your beloved fur baby will be assured of a secure and happy future.

What We Do

We help you to create a personalized plan that includes elements of all of the following, depending on what is best for you and your family. We have thoughtfully packaged what we do into customizable options for you and your family, and all of our fees are flat-rate and agreed to in advance so there are no surprises.


Wills, Trusts, and General Powers of Attorney


Health Care Directives and Medical Powers of Attorney


Guardianship Nominations


Asset Protection Planning


Special Needs Planning




Trust Administration

You Don’t Want To End Up A Statistic


U.S. Adults Without A Last Will

Dying without a Will means a stranger – a probate judge – makes all of the decisions for your family during a time of grief, including potentially who should be guardian of your minor children.


In Unclaimed Property  In The U.S.

When you do not leave a current inventory of your assets that your family can easily find when something happens, your assets could go unclaimed, never even benefitting your family.

2 Yrs

average Time Families Spend In Probate Court

Probate is a lengthy process, ranging from six months up to 5-10 years, or longer depending the case. On average, families spend two years in probate court that could have been avoided.

About Grace A. Phillips

Hello, I am your neighborhood Personal Family Lawyer® and Family Business Lawyer®.

What I know is that your legacy is about more than wills and trusts, and it is about more than money. As your trusted advisor, I help you make the very best legal decisions for your family with the kind of guidance usually reserved for only very high net worth individuals.

Our life and legacy planning model covers not just what happens with your assets, but sets you up to pass on what matters most to you: Your values. Your priorities. Your relationships. Your life. Your legacy.

Schedule Your Free 15-Minute Consult

With our life and legacy planning model, we help you confidently make legal and financial decisions so you know you have a plan to keep everyone you love out of court and out of conflict after you pass. Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning


Your Last Will is a legal document through which you distribute some of your assets upon death. Other assets will be distributed not based on your Last Will but on your beneficiary designations, depending on the situation. Over two-thirds of the U.S. adult population does not have a last will, and for those who do, most Last Wills do not fully cover their situation. Upon death, the only want to make a Last Will valid is to file it in the probate court, a public and normally lengthy process that delays your family access to what you have left behind.


In the world of estate planning, the best outcome for you, your family, and your loved ones will be achieved only by working with a lawyer who encounters estate planning situations daily. You have worked your whole life for what you have and the relationships you have created. Unfortunately, some families collapse after the death of a loved one because they either did no planning at all, or if they did, it was through an online platform that knew nothing about their family or circumstances and that ultimately failed them when their family needed help the most. We encourage a lifelong relationship between you and your estate planning attorney so that you have a lawyer for life to be there for your family when you cannot be.


This is the most often asked question in estate planning, and that is okay – we know the topic of cost is a sensitive one when it comes to choosing a professional to guide you, and we have designed our fees on a flat-fee basis only so that you know exactly what you are committing to – and there are no surprises. While we cannot quote fees online or over the phone, we invite you to check out our upcoming educational events where we teach you things about estate planning you do not even know to ask, plus we will cover during our next event our unique meeting process and fee schedule so that you know exactly how to take the next steps at the best time for you and your family.


Think of a Trust as a “Will substitute.” What we mean is that just as a Last Will distributes your assets upon death, a Revocable Living Trust does the same. The upside of a Trust over a Will is that a Trust need not be filed with the probate court to be effective, whereas a Last Will must be filed with the probate court to have any effect. As a result, a Trust remains a private document pertaining to your private affairs, whereas a Last Will becomes a public document after you pass away no matter how private you were during your lifetime. Of course, there are additional types of trusts as well that serve different purposes, and each family’s unique situation must be taken into account to design the right overall estate plan, which may include one or more Trusts.


No, of course not! After you are gone, your loved ones will miss you deeply – they will long for your words of counsel and concern, and hearing an old voicemail or reading a letter from you again would be a tremendous gift. This has nothing to do with money. Through our unique life and legacy planning process, you can give your loved ones the most precious gift of all – a lasting expression of your love. This is because we believe estate planning is not just about transferring your financial assets and personal belongings. It is equally about capturing and transferring your valuable intangible gifts: your values, insights, stories, and experiences. What could be more valuable? Estate planning is not only for those rich with money. Everyone we know already has an estate as valuable as anything in the world and that they should protect.


Your estate plan works no matter where in the U.S. you might physically be (such as on vacation) or might move to. This said, we always recommend finding your neighborhood Personal Family Lawyer to review your out-of-state plan to help you ensure you make any necessary updates based on differences in state law.

Avoid The Six Mistakes Most Families Make When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney

Did you know that many families fly in the dark when it comes to securing their legacy for their loved ones? You can avoid these mistakes today by discovering exactly what to consider when hiring the best estate planning attorney for your family.