Estate Plan for petMost people with pets assume their furry friends will be taken care of when they pass away. I mean, wouldn’t you assume that you will outlive your pet? In most cases, the answer is yes, but definitely not in all cases. If the unthinkable happens, and your pet outlives YOU, do you have a plan?

In reality, pets take a back burner to the other property and items specifically listed in a person’s will. If you don’t have a will, and you pass away before your pets, serious problems can occur. Many pets are completely forgotten, and could die from neglect, being left in a back yard. If your will is contested by relatives, others could be legally prevented from accessing your house to care for your pets until they are rehomed. Bottom line is, the best plan is to have an estate plan that includes the future family for your pets.

Think of it like you would think of your children if you have them. Who do you know that loves your dog like you do? You need to find a friend that fits these qualities:

A person who

  • Can have a pet where they live
  • That is both willing and able to keep your pet until they pass away
  • That can afford to care for your pet, unless you can leave a stipend for them
  • That knows your pet and gets along well with your pet
In the past, DogBoy’s has had clients who have put us in their will. We are happy to care for good clients’ pets if everything is arranged ahead of time. Carole Callaghan, of Carole Callaghan Law, says, “If you want a pet care facility to assist you in finding a new family for your pet, a good option is to create a Testimentary Trust. With this type of trust, you can name a beneficiary to care for your pet, a trustee to manage the funds required for your pet’s care, and a remainder beneficiary to receive any remaining funds after your pet passes away. Ideally, these are three separate people.”
If you want to set up an estate plan for help like this, find a good estate planner. Find a dog loving estate planner if you can. Whatever you do, have a plan to make sure your pets will be cared for when you are no longer able to do so. Your dog has been your faithful companion his or her whole life. The least you can do is make sure they’re taken care of until the end of their lives.
Blog post by Courtney “DogGirl” Emken & Carole Callaghan, of Carole Callaghan Law.