Your pets are a member of your family, and for that reason, you have concerns about what will happen to them in the event of your death.
Rather than hope for the best, turn your attention to pet planning. This allows you to ensure the well-being of your animals after you die.
Estate planning for pets can address a variety of questions, such as:
- Who will care for your pet after your passing?
- Does the new caretaker have the resources necessary to take care of your pets?
- Does the new caretaker understand the needs of your pets, such as those related to healthcare, exercise, and diet?
Pet Planning and Your Estate Plan: Two Options
Even though you can’t leave property to your pet, you can still take steps to ensure that they’re taken care of after your passing. There are two options for doing so:
1. Include Your Pet in Your Will
As noted above, you can’t use your will to leave assets to your pet. However, you can still use it to put all your concerns at ease.
For example, you can name a caretaker in your will. Furthermore, you can leave this person money that’s designated to care for your pet.
2. Create a Pet Trust
While it’s more advanced than including your pet in your will, it’s also more comprehensive. A trust allows you to do the following:
- Designate which pets are covered by the trust
- Name a caretaker
- Outline the type of care your pets should receive
- Outline what the state should do with any remaining funds after your pets pass away
A trust creates a legal obligation for a person to provide for your pets. It can also go into effect in the event of your incapacity, such as the result of an illness, injury, or old age.
For many people, pet planning is just as important – if not more so – than every other detail of their estate plan.
Contact us to learn more about pet planning, including the approach that’s best for someone in your position.