Age Gracefully With A Plan In Place

How to protect beloved pets with your estate plan

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2022 | Estate Planning |

If you have pets, whether they be furred or feathered, have you given any thought to what will happen to them when you die? Many people erroneously assume that their adult children will take in their pets. But many times, that is just not plausible for any number of reasons.

So, if you truly love your pets, you should have a plan in place that will assure the continuity of their care once you have passed on. Read on for additional information on ways to protect your pets once you are no longer around to care for them.

Ask the hard questions now

If you have someone in mind to take care of Rover of Fluffy, ask them now if they will commit to caring for your pet until the end of its life. If they seem unsure or vacillate on their response, you may want to pre-arrange your pet’s transfer to an animal sanctuary or rescue group.

Consider a pet trust

Pets are an expense, so wherever they go, you want to provide financially for their care. Pet trusts are ideal for this, as they allocate funds for your pet as well as a stipend for their caregiver. You can even stipulate that their caregiver can move into your home for the duration of the pet’s life to ensure there is the least amount of disruption in their daily routine.

Does your pet have special needs?

Some pets have conditions that require special diets and medication. You should address any of these needs in your pet estate plan, including listing their veterinarian, groomer, dog-walker, etc. You also should be frank about any unusual behaviors in your pet that could affect its caregiver or their family members, e.g., biting or food aggression.

Choose a pet trustee

It is recommended that you choose a separate trustee to oversee the management and administration of the pet trust. If the caregiver is the trustee, there is always the chance that they will fail to honor the terms of the trust. Without this oversight, your pet could wind up neglected. Learning more about all of your options allows you to make the best choices possible for the pet you dearly love.