It can be difficult adjusting to life without a loved pet. It can be just as challenging to make sure a pet is properly cared for in the event that something happens to you.
While it might be a grim thought, the truth is that every day a countless number of people are killed or incapacitated by serious accidents. If you were involved in a catastrophe of this nature, you would want to make sure that someone else could provide the care and love that your pet deserves.
Despite recognizing the value of a pet trust, many people fail to create one. As a result when accidents do occur, pets are left to face the consequences. The ASPCA reports that each year, approximately half a million cats and dogs are placed in shelters because their owners are either killed or incapacitated in serious injuries.
Fortunately, with some adequate estate planning, it is possible to make sure that your pet is cared for in the event something happens to you.
Make Sure to Appoint Someone to Manage Your Pet’s Care
Many people decide to use formal estate planning documents like wills to appoint someone to take care of a pet. In many cases, however, it can take time for a person to begin taking care of a pet. Instead, it is helpful to also appoint a temporary caregiver in informal estate planning documents that become effective immediately following incapacity or death.
Consider a Pet Trust
Pet trusts are one of the best ways to formally care for a pet following a death. If you decide to create a pet trust, make sure that the trust is adequately funded. This means that you should take a number of costs into consideration including boarding, care, food, grooming, medication, and treats.
You Might Have to Appoint Multiple Caregivers
When selecting a caregiver who will care for your pet, it is a wise idea to consider appointing both a primary caregiver and a backup caregiver. Other people decide to appoint a third party who can make sure that money is appropriately used for a pet’s care.
Create a Pet File
In addition to making sure that the costs of taking care of your pet are properly handled, you may want to consider creating a pet dossier with details about your pet. This folder should include details about your pet’s food preferences, habits, and any medications taken.
These details should then be distributed to anyone who will care for the animal, including veterinarians. This way, you can handle any unique elements of the pet’s care in advance.
Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
Making sure that pets are properly cared for if something happens to an owner is just one of the many overlooked aspects of estate planning. If you or a loved one needs assistance with the estate planning process, do not hesitate to speak with experienced estate planning attorney Jim A. Lyon today.