For the Love of Your Family

Can I use estate planning to provide for my pet’s care after my death?

Clarifying Questions

Q: Can I use estate planning to provide for my pet’s care after my death?

-Dog Lover

A: Dear Lover:

Yes, you most certainly can use estate planning to make sure your pets are taken care of when you die or in the event of your incapacity. And the best way to do so is to set up a pet trust.

With a pet trust, you can designate a caregiver for your pet and leave funds for the animal’s future care and custody. In the trust’s terms, you can create rules spelling out exactly how those funds should be used

To ensure your wishes are properly carried out, you should name someone other than the caregiver as trustee, so this person can manage the funds and make sure they’re only used as spelled out by the rules you’ve created. 

Though you can leave money and instructions for your pet’s care in your will, a will cannot guarantee the caregiver will use the funds properly. In fact, a person who’s left your pet in a will can simply drop the animal off at a shelter and keep the money for themselves.

To ensure your furry friend will be well taken care of no matter what happens to you, contact us as your Personal Family Lawyer® to help you create a pet trust.

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