Estate planning involves deciding whom you want to receive your assets when you die. It also involves naming people to take over certain responsibilities on your behalf. Most parents are keenly aware of the fact that they need to name a guardian for their children, but not all pet owners consider doing the same for the animals that they love.
If you don’t integrate your pet into your estate plan, they could wind up living with someone neglectful or abusive or even euthanized because they got surrendered to a shelter. Providing for the care of your pets is important if you have cats or dogs, but if you have unusual pets like parents or tortoises that could live for decades after you die, it becomes absolutely critical to plan for that animal’s care.
You can set aside assets for the person who cares for your pets
Assuming responsibility for someone’s pets after their death is a big decision. Some people don’t want to take on all that extra work and responsibilities, especially if you have an animal that they aren’t familiar with. Others may not have the money to cover veterinary care or premium pet food.
Including resources for the individual who assumes ownership of your pet, such as possession of your home or even a specific amount of the financial value from your estate, can motivate people to step up and take care of your pets.
Much like with naming a guardian for your child, it’s usually best to talk with the individual before you list them as the recipient of your pets in your last will. That way, everyone knows what to expect and who will be taking care of your precious companion animal when you die.