How to provide for and protect your pet when you’re gone

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Pets bring so much joy to people’s lives. Their little antics can improve a bad day, while their curiosity allows people to see the world differently. No wonder people want to spoil their animal companions and ensure they live a good life too.

If a pet owner dies before their furry friend, estate planning tools can ensure that the animals are still well cared for.

Appoint a guardian for your pet

Individuals can name someone they trust as their pet’s guardian in a will. If anything happens to the pet owner, the designated caretaker will be given possession of the pet. However, a pet guardian may not be legally obligated to care for the animal. Therefore, it is crucial to find someone who truly cares about them.

Pets are beloved members of the family. The rest of the family likely cares about its welfare too. Trusted family and friends can be excellent candidates for a pet guardian.

Though it’s not a requirement, leaving the guardian a small sum of money may help ensure the pet’s care. However, a provision in the will alone may not allow the pet owner much control over how this money is used.

Establish a pet trust

California is one of many states that allow people to create trusts specifically for pets. As many pet owners know, caring for animals can be costly. Apart from food and water, pets also require regular grooming, health check-ups, medicine and recreational activities.

Dog owners spend an average of $1,188 every year on essentials. Caring for a horse will cost significantly more as they need bigger spaces and more maintenance.

A pet trust may help ensure there are enough funds for pets to continue receiving care. Pet owners can set up the trust to pass on assets directly to the caregiver or control when funds are paid.

By taking these steps, pet owners can ensure that their furry friends will continue receiving the love and care they deserve, even after passing. To ensure that all legal requirements are met, consulting an experienced estate planning attorney can help.