According to the United States Census Bureau, over 50 percent of adults ages 25-64 have some type of pet in their homes. These animals provide not only companionship but also share a unique bond that enriches the lives of their owners.
While estate planning is mostly focused on human beneficiaries, it is also important to consider the welfare of your beloved pets. Incorporating them into your estate plan ensures that they will receive the care and comfort they need even after you are gone.
Identifying a guardian
Choosing a trusted guardian for your pet is the first step in securing their future. Select someone who shares your values and is willing and capable of providing love and care for them. Clearly communicate your wishes and expectations regarding your pet’s well-being, including any specific dietary or medical requirements.
Setting aside funds for your pet’s care is also part of planning. Establish a pet trust or reserve a specific amount of your estate to cover their expenses. Make sure your chosen guardian has access to these funds to cover everything from food and grooming to veterinary bills.
Pet care instructions
Provide your chosen guardian with a comprehensive manual on your pet’s routines, preferences and health history. Include their favorite treats, exercise routines and any unique behaviors that require attention. Having clear instructions ensures a smooth transition and minimizes stress for your pet.
If your pet is like a family member to you, including them in your estate plan is a testament to the love and dedication you have for them.