Including your pet in your Estate Plan has become the norm in recent years. This makes sense as pets occupy an integral part of our homes and our hearts. It is only natural that when we plan for the care of our loved ones, providing for our pets come to mind.
Despite a pet’s short life expectancy, there is a real chance your pet may outlive you. This is especially true now that pet parents treat pets as family members, pamper them, and chose to intervene medically including by taking extraordinary measures to extend the life of their pets.
Proper planning for pets provides for a care plan not only in the event of your death, but also in the event of incapacity – including short term incapacity. You can provide for a temporary emergency caregiver to be in place for an unexpected event – providing them with keys to your home, feeding and care instructions, contact info for your veterinarian and daily routines.
Legally, pets are considered personal property and not automatically entitled to the spoils your pet is used to. Only legally enforceable documents will guarantee your pet’s secure future. Having these documents in place ensures your companion animals’ continuous and uninterrupted care with the caregiver of your choice. Having a plan in place will ensure your caretakers are preselected and your pets care continues without interruption. A comprehensive plan allows you to arrange for various potential life events. No one wants to see a pet consigned to a place not of the owner’s choice, and no one wants the court to decide a pet’s fate when its owner is no longer able to care for it. As painful as it is to think of leaving beloved pets behind, there is no greater sense of security for pet owners than knowing that all their companion animals have a secure future.