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Creating an estate plan with a pet in mind

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2018 | Wills And Trusts

People accumulate many assets over the course of a lifetime. While it may be tough to categorize and plan for everything, there is one area you should not overlook: your pets

Many people end up passing away owning a dog or cat. Animal shelters all over the country end up taking these animals in, and unfortunately, the shelters often need to put the animals down. That is why anyone who owns an animal needs to prepare for what will happen to that pet after the death of its owner in a detailed estate plan

Meet with family and friends

First, you need to decide whom you can trust to take care of your furry friend. This requires you to talk to people to see who is capable of watching after an animal. Some people may not be able to watch after a dog or cat due to financial limitations. You want to be sure that your pet will receive love and care. When you meet with loved ones, you also want to make it clear what the person’s responsibilities will be. For example, if your pet has any medical conditions, then you need to communicate that so that the person is ready to pay extra medical bills. 

Consider creating a pet trust

Someone may want to look after your pet but does not have the resources to do so. Therefore, you may want to create a pet trust that gives the person the necessary funds to pay for the animal. The person receives a set amount of money each month that should cover all pet-related expenses. Additionally, a trust is much stronger than a verbal agreement because it is a legally binding arrangement. Additionally, the trust can contain a provision that states if the pet dies prematurely from natural causes, then the caregiver will receive the remaining trust money all at once.