Many beloved pets are euthanized after the death of their human because of money. Food is expensive, and vet bills can be a deterrent for those who would otherwise give your pets a loving home when you’re gone. Make sure your pets are well-loved by setting things up properly now.

If your dog, cat, horse (or goldfish!) is truly part of your family, it’s important to think through what will happen to your companion in the event of your disability or death.

More than 500,000 pets are orphaned every year when their humans die or become incapacitated. Many of them are simply euthanized because they aren’t the cute little puppies or kittens that are the first to be adopted at the Humane Society. Finding someone to take in an older pet can be more challenging, and part of that challenge is due to the bigger expenses for mature pets.

Leaving behind some money for your furry loved ones can ensure that they won’t be a financial burden to someone else. This way, a good-hearted person can take them in without worrying about the cost of medical conditions (current or future) or how to feed your dog the high-end food you prefer without starving their own children.

To do this, you’ll want the money in a Pet Trust. This is simply a theoretical entity that’s created when you’re gone to hold whatever funds are appropriate for the ongoing care of your pet after you pass away. You can choose how the money will be used, and include any guidelines that are important to you. If there’s any money left over, you can give it to your pet’s caretaker, an animal charity, or back to your family … your choice!

Why not just leave money to the friend or family member who promises to care for your pets? Sometimes this works fine, especially if you have children you can count on who also care about your pets. But leaving money to a friend or even family member means that whatever happens to them also happens to the money you left for the care of your pet. Divorce, bankruptcy, lawsuits, even death can leave your furry loved one without the money you set aside. Putting the money into a trust is just safer.

You’ll also want to name someone to take care of your pets when you’re gone. This makes it so much easier on your loved ones when something happens to you, and ensures that your pets will have a loving home.

It’s also important to make sure you have an emergency plan for your pets, in case you’re injured or in an accident. Many people put basic information about their pets in the same place as other emergency contact information (number of pets, feeding habits, and any other helpful details). Letting emergency personnel know that you have pets at home, and who to call in the event of an emergency to come take care of your pets, can make all the difference in ensuring their well-being if you’re in an accident.

We can help make sure your pets will continue to receive loving care when you’re gone. We’ll walk you through the important decisions and guide you through your options.

Make sure your furry companions aren’t abandoned at your incapacity or death. Register for one of our upcoming workshops to get all the details or schedule a Personal Consultation today!

For more information

Not sure whether a Will or Trust is right for the foundation of your estate plan?

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