estate planning checklist

Don’t Forget To Protect Your Furry Family

Don’t Forget To Protect Your Furry Family

Many pets end up in shelters when their owners become incapacitated or die. It is sad, but it is true. The Humane Society estimates that 100,00 to 500,000 pets end up in shelters annually, and many of these animals are eventually euthanized.

The law does not consider pets as more than personal property, including cars, furniture, and electronic devices. If you don’t take steps to fit your pet into your estate plan, your beloved companion may end up in a shelter.

We’ll show you how estate planning can help ensure that your pets get the best care possible when you cannot. We can help you create proper legal documents to ensure your furry friend’s care in the future.

Choose a Caregiver for Your Pet

The most crucial step in protecting your pet through your estate plan is to choose a reliable caregiver. It is easy to assume that your family, friends, or relatives will take care of your pet if you cannot do so. These people may also tell you this in conversation. Caring for pets requires much effort, time, money, and energy. It would help if you didn’t trust your friends or family to care for your pet’s needs.

It is best to list possible candidates and have a candid conversation with each one. This will allow you to discuss the care your pet needs and any other issues (allergies or housing) that may prevent them from giving the proper care.

If you cannot find suitable caregivers for your pet, charities such as the Safe Haven(r) and Surviving Pet Care Program can help.

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Make a Care Plan

Once you have chosen the caregiver for your pet, along with two or three alternates in the event of an emergency, you need to outline your pet’s care needs. Your pet’s basic needs should be included in your caretaking instructions, including their diet, exercise routine, and veterinary care. If you’re like most pet owners, your pet should receive more than the bare necessities. Your care plan can give your pet the lifestyle they desire. It could include special grooming and tasty treats, weekly trips to the park, or favorite toys. Don’t forget what you would like to do at the end of your pet’s life. This could include burial, cremation, and memorial services.

Financing for Your Pet’s Continuing Care

It would help to consider your pet’s health and age when deciding how much money you will set aside to care for it. You’ll be responsible for paying for the entire animal’s care for the rest of their lives. Even the most uncomplicated expenses can add up.

You should consider the necessities such as food and vet visits and include the cost of additional treatments in your care plan. If you leave more money than you need, you can name a beneficiary (e.g., a relative or charity) to receive any remaining funds.

Make a Pet Trust

A pet trust is the best way to ensure your wishes are fulfilled. Pet care can be expensive and complicated. Although it is possible to leave instructions and funds for your pet’s care in a will or a trust, this does not guarantee that the new caregiver will correctly use the funds.

A person who has left their pet in a will can drop it off at a shelter and keep the money. A pet trust allows you to set up legally binding rules regarding how funds can be used. Pet trusts can cover multiple pets and work in the event of incapacity or death.

It would help if you did not name your trustee’s caregiver to ensure that your wishes are carried out accurately. The trustee will be able to manage the funds and ensure that they are used as you intended.

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