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What provisions can you make for family pets in an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Do you have beloved “fur babies” that you’ve come to acknowledge as part of the family? Did you know you can make provisions for your family pets in your estate plan?

Whether you have a couple of dogs, a family cat or even a horse or two, to help ensure that they’re forever cared for is an excellent way to value the smiles they’ve put on your faces as a family. Of course, pets cannot inherit property, so you can’t designate them as beneficiaries to a portion of your estate. However, thoughtful options exist that can help secure their well-being as long as they live.

Finding forever homes: Choosing caretakers

One way to care for your family pets is to designate trusted caretakers for them to have forever homes. It would be best if you assigned this important responsibility to family members or friends who have spent time with your pets.

Someone who has been your family cat will be better positioned to cater to their unique needs. Furthermore, your furry friend will be more at ease relocating to another home if they’re familiar with the caretaker.

Before naming someone as a caretaker for your pet, talk to them about it to ascertain that they’re interested. Discussing your plans with them can also guide them on how you would want the pet to be cared for.

Financial security: Leaving a legacy of love (and kibble)

Even f you’re lucky enough to find the most devoted caretaker, you might want to provide them with the resources to provide proper care for your pets. To help ensure your pet’s financial future, consider leaving a designated sum to your chosen caretaker. This way, they’ll have an easy time covering essentials like food, vet bills and pet insurance.

Suppose your pet has an intricate care plan; you might want to consider establishing a pet trust. You can appoint the caretaker as the trustee for the pet trust so that they can use the funds for the benefit of your furry friend.

Planning for your beloved pet’s future is an act of love and responsibility. By thoughtfully including them in your estate plan, you can help ensure their continued care and well-being after you are no longer able to provide for them. Remember, proper estate planning for pets not only helps to safeguard their future but can also provide clarity and comfort to your loved ones during difficult times.