Estate Planning for the Pet Parent

Many people plan their estates for the benefit of their children and other human heirs. But what do you do if your only family is a house full of cats or a bunch of dogs?

As you get older, you may be concerned that your pets will outlive you. What happens if they do? Is there something to do that can help prepare for this possibility?

There is estate planning you can do to protect your pets. While the law does not allow you to give money directly to your animals (which makes sense since animals do not know how to use money), you can create trusts to help care for your furry and feathered friends.

No two cases are the same, so there are various options to consider. You can have your pets stay in your home (with a caregiver) or have them live out their days in a pet sanctuary. This will depend on your desires as well as the needs of your pets.

Steps to Take

To create the best estate planning option for your pet, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do any of your pets have health issues or behavioral problems that require unique care requirements?
  • Where do you want your pets to live? Should they stay at your home, with a trusted loved one, or at a pet sanctuary?
  • What financial resources do you have to care for your pet?
  • Who will provide daily care?
  • Who will be responsible for administering the assets left for your pets?

Once you answer these questions, decide who will care for your pet. Select someone you feel comfortable with and who truly loves your pet. Consider friends and family, but make sure to have a conversation with them. If you can’t find someone, consider a care organization.

Next, consider finances. The amount you will need will depend on your desires. If your pets are staying in your home, then there is home and property maintenance to consider. Plus, you will want to pay the caregiver.

Determining how much money is enough is not an easy task. Consider how much you spend to care for your pets now and then estimate how long your pet will live. Do the math and then add a little more to provide a cushion in the event of any emergencies.

You can use life insurance and retirement plans to provide for your pets’ lifetime care. Some pet parents leave a fixed sum of money and their pet to a trusted pet caregiver. You can also opt to create a pet trust to pay for your pets’ care.

Contact Us Today

In the event of your death, you will want to make sure your furry and feathered friends are cared for. This can be a challenge, especially if you live on your own and have little family.

The team at Francois Williams Legal LLC can help ensure your pets get a loving home after your death. A pet trust or other options can help. To schedule a consultation, call (301) 358-0377 (Maryland) or (954) 372-2021 (Florida) or fill out the online form.

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