Estate Planning And Your Pets: Three Things You Should Do

When it comes to estate planning, many people forget to plan for their pets. The news media often publishes stories of elderly people leaving pets behind with no one to care for them. Some of these pets wind up scared and alone at shelters. If you pass away while your pets are still alive, it is important to ensure that your animals are provided for and care will be taken to find them a loving home and support them through the rest of their years. Your pet may not be lucky enough to be left behind with a trust worth $13 million, but even leaving behind a smaller amount can ensure that your pet doesn't wind up in a shelter or euthanized due to the lack of someone to care for them.

Determine a Caretaker

Whether you plan to leave your pets with a friend or family member, or you have decided on a nonprofit rescue or end-of-life pet assistance organization, it is important to set your wishes forth in writing. Add a codicil to your will if you already have a will. If you don't have a will, get one drawn up and notarized immediately by a competent estate planning attorney. Add your wishes for your pet in your will so everyone concerned is aware of what should happen in the unfortunate event of your passing.

Set Up a Trust

Trusts aren't just for children, spouses, and elderly family members. If you have a pet that will need care in the event of your death, you should go ahead and set up a trust now. Your estate planning attorney can set up the trust when creating your will. The trust will take care of funds needed to care for your pet and disburse these funds as directed by you when you establish the trust. This will ensure your pet's medical and living expenses are covered so he or she won't be deprived of basic care if you are gone.

Have a Plan

In the event that you should pass away, it is important that a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor has the low-down on your pets. Breed, names, ages, and descriptions are all important so someone can come to your home and secure your pets. Some pets may have a tendency to hide when they are afraid or missing their owner. This information will ensure that your pets are not left behind in your home if you pass away.

Your pet is as much a part of your family as any human family member. Take the proper steps now to ensure their safety, health, and happiness in the event you aren't here to care for them for their entire life. For more information, contact local professionals like James M Snow.