Estate Planning for Pets

Often, pets are not included in estate plans. Make sure you carefully consider all of your pets’ needs and take the steps necessary to ensure that your pets’ caretaker has the financial capability to pay for the ongoing needs and care of your pet.

Pets cannot be named beneficiaries of money or property from your estate, but you have other options. A Last Will and Testament often lacks the structure to properly provide for your pets, but a living trust is generally an adequate tool.

A trust can designate someone to care for your pet, name someone to distribute money to the pet’s caretaker and stipulate charitable contributions to animal shelters. The amount of money set aside for pets depends on the type and number of pets. When your pet passes away, the balance of the amount can go back into the trust, or be given to a charity such as an animal shelter.

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