Who cares for your pet after you pass away is most likely a concern. During estate planning, you can take steps to ensure that your pet is cared for by someone you trust. If you have not made provisions for your pet, here is what you need to know.
Can You Leave Your Estate to Your Pet?
Unfortunately, you cannot leave your estate to your pet. However, you do have the option of leaving it to the person you are entrusting to care for your pet. If you do not want the person to have control over your estate, you can set up a trust that can provide financial support for your pet and ensure that your other heirs receive their inheritances.
Is It Possible to Name More Than One Caretaker?
You have the option of naming more than one person as your pet's caretaker. In fact, it is better to have more than one listed in case the first caretaker listed is unable to take your pet. If you do elect to name an additional or alternate caretaker, it is important that you also leave him or her the funds needed to care for your pet.
What If You Cannot Find a Caretaker?
There are a few options available if you are unable to find a suitable caretaker to take your pet when you pass away. Some local rescue organizations and veterinary schools take pets. You might have to make a donation to help care for your pet. You can also post an advertisement for a caretaker and interview the possibilities. Again, it is wise to choose more than one person to serve as caretaker.
Can You Order Your Pet to Be Euthanized?
Some pet owners might feel it is more humane to have their pets euthanized once they are gone. However, some judges have refused to honor euthanization wishes. Although your pet is technically your property when you are alive, in death, the pet is considered to be part of the estate. As such, the executor might be prohibited from euthanizing the pet. Your executor might instead be ordered by the court to try and find a suitable home for your pet.
Failing to leave provisions for your pet could leave your family and friends scrambling to determine what to do with it. By including your pet in your estate planning, you help to ensure that your pet is not only cared for after you die, but also loved. Talk with estate planning attorneys like those at Donald B Linsky & Associate Pa for more information and professional advice to include your pet in your plans.