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How can I best provide for my pet using estate planning?

Ali Katz


Q: How can I best provide for my pet using estate planning?

-Dog Lover

A: Dear Lover:

A beloved pet can be just like family, so it makes sense you’d worry about how they’ll be taken care of when you die or if you become incapacitated. Fortunately, with proper estate planning, you can rest easy knowing your furry friend will get the care and attention he or she deserves.

Though it is possible to leave care instructions and funding for your pet in a will, a will cannot guarantee the caregiver will use the funds properly. Given this, the best way to provide for your pet’s future is to set up a pet trust.

In the trust, you can name a caretaker and give detailed instructions about how your pet should be taken care of. You could even name someone other than the caregiver as trustee, so they can manage the funds and ensure they’re used as stipulated for as long as your pet is living, without any conflict of interest.  

You should thoroughly list all of your pet’s care requirements—health issues, dietary concerns, medications, and any special tasks and/or treats you want carried out. A properly drafted pet trust can ensure such wishes are handled correctly and are enforceable.

Contact a Personal Family Lawyer®, today to prepare a comprehensive and legally-binding pet trust.