Taking Care of Pets in Your Will

Pets are some of life’s best companions. Whatever kind of animal you have, whether cat, dog, lizard, bird: pets are often times just as much a member of our families as anyone else. They come on road trips with us. They play with our kids. We give them names, feed them, and love them. But what happens to our fur-babies and other non-human family members when we pass?

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning for your pets in your will.

Designate a Guardian

Just like our kids, our pets need somewhere to go once we pass away. It’s important to appoint a caregiver for your pet who is both willing and able to take care of them properly. Without designation in a will, close family members are typically in charge of deciding these types of things. Worst case scenario: Your furry (or not) friend gets taken to the pound or sold. If that thought it too much to bare you have all the more reason to make sure you leave your pet to a fitting new owners.

Set Some Money Aside to Cover Costs

If you feel the need to, set aside some funds to be allocated to the new owner of your pet. This money can go towards alleviating food, toy, or veterinary expenses that the new owner may face.

Note: In some states the new owner is not required by law to use these funds towards specifically for the animal. In other states, you can set up a conditional bequest that requires that money to be spent on your pet.

Caring for Your Pet in Probate

If your estate goes into probate it can be months or years before things are resolved. In this case, you can set up a clause in your will that allows the executor to use money from your estate to care for your animal(s). This ensures that your pal is protected in case your estate spends a lengthy time in probate.

If you have questions about pets, probate, or wills in general, contact us. To get started on your quick and easy will, click the get started tab in the menu!

Published 05/31/2021.