There is a lot to take into consideration when you are planning your estate, and because of this it is easy to let some of the minute details slip through the cracks. After all, you are preparing all the assets that you have been able to accumulate throughout your life for distribution to the people that you love the most. In addition to this being a big financial responsibility, it is also a matter of the heart because your legacy represents the final act of giving you’re going to be capable of. So it is understandable if you were to overlook something, and one of these things may be furry and have four legs.
Yes, your pet must be provided for in your estate plan as well. Imagine how sad it would be if your dog or cat had no ready home and no financial provisions made for its care after your death. It is natural for people to assume that they will outlive their pets, but unfortunately it doesn’t always play out that way. The truth is that pet ownership can be very beneficial to seniors, providing companionship, love, and protection while instilling a renewed sense of purpose. But if you are going to own a pet during the latter stages of your life you must make provisions for the pet in your estate plan.
The first course of action is going to be to identify a willing and able caretaker for the pet. In many cases you will have a family member or friend who already knows the pet and would seem to you to be a good fit. Once you know who will be caring for the pet you could leave this individual a direct bequest in your will that he or she can use to pay for pet care expenses. Another option is the creation of a pet trust, and this is something that you would want to discuss with your estate planning attorney.