Estate Planning: Who Takes Care of Your Pet when You Can't?

Fido or Kitty has been your constant companion for years. He's been there to share your triumphs and comforted you when you're feeling blue. He's as precious to you as any human friend or relative. But what's going to happen to your pet if you are incapacitated or when you die.


You'd naturally assume that one of your loving family members or heirs would step in and take care of him. But while anyone would be thrilled to receive your assets, a living animal is another story. People may not have the room to care for another pet. Others may not care for animals at all. In any case, your beloved companion may end up being euthanized for convenience.


It's therefore important to provide for your pet in your estate planning. The simplest option is to mention at least two trusted friends or relatives who can take your pet in. If you have more than one animal, you need to discuss whether they all go to one person or to separate people. Make sure these individuals have access to your home, so they can start caring for your pet immediately.


Another option is to direct your executor to find your pet a good home. Discuss with this individual what your criteria are. Finding a new home can take several weeks, so provide for any temporary care arrangements, perhaps with a local kennel. Compensate the individual who takes charge of your pet for any supplies, time, and effort.


Whatever option you choose for your pet mentioned in your estate planning documents. Please contact us so we can set that up for you.