Your pets are a huge part of your family, but so often we don’t think to include them in our plans for the future. Including your pet in your estate plan may seem silly as most of us will outlive our furry loved ones, but what happens in case of an emergency? It’s always better to have a plan in place instead of leaving your loved ones struggling with how to take care of your pets.

Here’s 3 Steps to Including Your Pets in Your Estate Plan:

1. Designate Who Will Care for Your Pets

Step one in all circumstances is to legally name the people you would want to care for your pets, in the event you cannot. You should name these people in your will, and also in a “pet power of attorney” providing for your pet’s care in the event of your incapacity.

2. Give Specific Care Instructions

Step two is to give the people you’ve named specific instructions about how you want your pets to be cared for if you cannot do it. These directions should include veterinary contact information, types and amounts of food, any medications needed, exercise plan, list of allergies and other medical information, and any other special things you know about your pets that any caretaker should know.

3. Set Up Financial Resources for the Care of Your Pets

Finally, step three of creating a pet trust is to consider whether you need to provide financial resources to care for your pets. If your pet has any special needs, or if you want to provide funding for training, regular exercise, or a certain kind of food or care, it’s up to you to provide the financial resources to the people you’ve named to take care of your pets.

We can help you get a plan in place for your pets. Contact us for your free initial consultation. We can guide you through the entire estate planning process or updating an existing plan.

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.