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Helping People Age with Dignity

Using an estate plan to protect a beloved pet's future

Providing their pet with love and care is something many pet owners care deeply about. Thus, one of the things pet owners may have a fair deal of worry about is what would happen with a beloved dog, cat or other pet if they were to pass away before the pet does.

Thankfully, a person doesn't simply have to leave their pet's fate in such a situation up to chance. There things a person can do in their estate plan to help ensure that, after their death, their pet will continue to be well-cared-for.

One pet-related thing a person can do in their estate plan is designate in their will who will get their pet after they die. When making such a designation, one should give careful thought to who would be a good caretaker for their pet.

A person can also use their estate plan to help ensure that funds are available for their pet's care after their death. There are multiple ways a person could do this. For one, they could, in their will, leave some extra money to the person they are leaving the pet to. Another option is to set up a trust for the care of the pet.

What options for providing after-death monetary support for the care of a pet would be the best fit for a given pet owner depends on a variety of factors, including how much control they want over how the money they are leaving for such support is used. The pet trust option generally provides greater means of control than leaving extra money to the designated caretaker in a will.

Estate planning attorneys can assist pet owners with finding the right estate planning mechanisms for meeting their particular goals for providing for their pet's care.

Source: Money, "How to Make Sure Your Pet Is Cared for When You Die," Kerri Anne Renzulli, Nov. 18, 2015

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