In America, we love our pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, Americans own about 78 million dogs; however, cats are the more popular pet with Americans owning over 86 million cats. In fact, one in three households in the United States owns a cat. Of those homes with feline friends, over half of them have more than one cat. If you consider a cat to be part of your family, have you planned for your feline friend in your estate plan?
Despite how much cat lovers care for their cats, they often fail to include them in their estate plan. This is not done out of a lack of love. Instead, most people depend on an informal arrangement with a family member or loved one to provide for the cat in the event of the owner’s death or incapacity. While this does work sometimes, more often than not it falls apart when the time comes for one of several reasons.
To ensure that your cat will be well cared for if something happens to you, take the time to officially include him or her in your estate plan. To do this, you can chose to simply gift your cat to someone in your Last Will and Testament along with funds for his or her care, or you can create a pet trust. Along with numerous other advantages to a pet trust, one benefit is that a pet trust can provide for your cat’s care in the event of your incapacity whereas including your cat in your Will does not cover this possibility.