Should I include my pets in my estate plan?

| May 2, 2021 | Trusts |

Nobody wants to think about their own death, but if you own pets, it is something you must consider. Your pets rely completely on you, and unlike children, there is no good system to take care of them if you were to die.

Upon your death, if you have no plans in place, your beloved pets could end up in a shelter. To avoid this, it is a good idea to include them in your estate plan.

Choose a caretaker

U.S. News and World Report explains that the main focus in your estate plan should be choosing a caretaker. You can put this in your will, but make sure that you speak with the chosen caretaker first. You want to ensure he or she is willing to take on this role.

Set up financial care

You also need to account for the financial responsibility of caring for your pets. You can create a trust that will have guidelines and rules to allow you to leave money for only the care of your pets. You may also work into the trust a payment to the caregiver if you want.

The best thing about a trust is that you can make specific rules for disbursement to ensure the money goes towards the care of your pets. You can make it as specific as possible.

This is important to understand because if you simply leave the caretaker money in the will to care for your pets, there is no way to enforce that. You have to have a lot of trust in the caregiver that he or she will use the money the right way. With a trust, you have assurance in how the caregiver will use the money.