Elder Law & Estate Planning: Ensure Your Four-Legged Family Members are Always Cared For
For too long, pets have been little more than an afterthought in estate planning. If pets were addressed at all, the sole focus was on caring for your pet after your death, and even that was minimal. Sure, if the kids died before you, there might be provision to leave the dog to someone and maybe a little money to take care of him. Some animal lovers established pet trusts, but that too only addressed what happens to your pets when you die.
But what happens if become sick or injured and unable to care for your pet? What happens if you downsize, or move into a retirement community? For many people this is means finding their pet a new home. Animal rescues are filled with pets whose owners became unable to care for them.
No one would suggest that you should cut off your connection with children or other family members just because you became sick, suffered an injury, or downsized.
If your pet is your family member, there is no reason not to remain connected to him or her, regardless of what happens in your life. If your pet is your family member, there is no reason not to include him or her in your estate plan, just as you would any other family member.
Four-legged family members are just that – family members.
Just as you make provisions in your estate plan for children and grandchildren, you can and should make provisions for your four-legged family members. You should have a plan to remain connected with your four-legged family member if you become sick, get injured, downsize or move to a retirement community.
Planning for your four legged family members is more than a pet trust. We carefully craft a plan and provide the tools you need to stay connected to your four legged family member and provide care for him or her regardless of what happens to you.
If someone else had to unexpectedly care for your four legged family member, would they know what time your dog eats breakfast? Your cat’s favorite treat? What fly spray works best for your horse? They should – and they will – if you’ve put Four Legged Family Member planning in place.
Your Pet’s Future: Don’t Leave It to Chance
You should have a plan to remain connected with your four-legged family member if you become sick.
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