Planning for Pets

For many people, pets are members of the family. But they are often overlooked when it comes to planning for the future.  Who will take care of your animals if you are unable to do so?  Would your children be in a position to take your animal in if you passed away or had a long-term incapacity?

For many families, there is no additional work needed to make sure a pet is taken care of. However, depending on your situation and the type of pets you have, it may be necessary to take additional steps.The simplest way is to name the person who will become your petís caregiver when you are no longer able. Beyond just asking if the person would be willing to take your pet, you should think about whether your pet would be a financial burden for that person.  This is a particular concern with animals that have high costs, such as horses, and with animals that have high bills for veterinary care.  In those types of circumstances, you may need leave the person who will receive the animal an additional sum of money or create a pet trust in your will.

A pet trust is a legal relationship which names one person to manage the money and distribute it as needed for the expenses of the pet. It states what happens if the caregiver can no longer care for the animal and who gets the remaining money after the animal passes away. This can help protect the funds from the caregiverís creditors and makes sure that funds are available in case the caregiver changes.

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