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Pet-related concerns in estate planning

On Behalf of | May 19, 2017 | Trusts |

Estate planning can be used to address a range of concerns elderly individuals have about the future. This includes concerns regarding their pets. A pet can be a very beloved companion. So, an elderly pet owner may care very much about putting protections in place to ensure their cherished companion is cared for in the future, whatever the future holds.

So, elderly pet owners may want to take steps to address issues regarding their pets when it comes to a range of different decisions in their estate planning, including:

  • Decisions of what will happen when they pass away. One thing it can be important for a pet owner to include their plans regarding after-death issues is a clear plan for who will get their pet when they die. A pet owner may also want to set aside funds to help cover their pet’s expenses after they pass away. This can be done through setting up a pet trust.
  • Decisions of what will happen if they become incapacitated. Individuals sometimes become incapacitated during their elderly years, leaving them unable to make key decisions. Now, in addition to there being documents individuals can use to lay out who will make financial decisions for them or decisions regarding their own medical care if they become incapacitated, there are also documents for laying out who will make decisions regarding their pet’s medical care in the event of incapacity (advance veterinary directives).
  • Long-term care decisions. One thing the future can hold for an elderly individual is long-term care. So, there are many things it can be important for a senior to plan for in relation to the potential of needing long-term care, including what elder care facility they want to go to if moving into a facility becomes necessary. For pet owners, one thing they may want to pay close attention to when researching facilities is what policies the facilities they are looking at have regarding pets.

When taking any sort of estate planning step or measure for the protection of one’s pet, it can be important for a person to understand what needs to happen for the step/measure to have the effect they want it to. So, as with any other estate planning goal, when it comes to pet-related goals, legal guidance on how best to pursue the goal can be a key thing for a person to seek out.