Whether you consider a dog, a cat, a bird, or a snake to be your family pet, you undoubtedly love the animal or it wouldn’t be part of your family. Just as you have planned for the other family members in the event of your death, have you planned for your pet? If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. Creating a pet plan is usually fairly simple to accomplish, but can save your pet from becoming lost in the shuffle or shuffled off to the pound in the event of your death. Take the following steps to ensure that your pet is cared for long after you are no longer here to do it yourself.
- Select two to three people who you think would be able and willing to take over the day to day care of your pet.
- Talk to your potential caregivers and find out if they are willing to serve in the position.
- Create a monthly budget for your pet to determine how much you spend on him/her.
- Determine how long your pet is likely to live. From this, calculate how much it will cost to care for your pet for the rest of his/her life if you died tomorrow.
- Decide whether you want your caregiver or a neutral third party to be the trustee of your pet trust.
- Sit down with your estate planning attorney can create your pet trust.
- Transfer enough assets into the trust to fund it.
- Relax knowing that your pet is covered in the event of your death.