2018 Will – Include Your Pets!
As part of your 2018 New Year’s Resolution, ensure your pet’s security by including them in your will, trust, or last minute directive scribbled on a napkin!
Although rarely spoken of, truly responsible pet ownership includes having arrangements in place to ensure that your four-legged friend is taken care of care of if you aren’t around. Animals cannot advocate for themselves, so its important to make sure your companion is protected by developing a contingency plan in case you become incapacitated or pass on. This can be part of your general estate planning; usually a will or trust.
A set security plan for your beloved pets is especially important. Gather and organize your pet’s medical information. Think over your pet’s daily routine and write it down in a structured, readable format. Estimate your pet’s expenses and designate funds for their care. Remember to be specific! You probably take for granted knowing all your pet’s favorite foods, toys, and treats and quirky habits but the person trying to fulfill your wishes probably wont.
Speaking of, its a great idea to speak with potential future caregivers-friends, family members, and no-kill animal rescues. Try to secure the commitment of a person or organization that you feel is trustworthy and responsible enough to entrust your loved one to.
Be sure to see a lawyer or financial adviser to finalize your plans. Not only are there various types of wills and trusts, but you want to be sure your plans legally stand-up in case they are ever contested. When finalized, you can post this document in a visible place in the house or put a copy in a safe deposit box. Give a copy to your closest friends or family members. Make sure your wishes are known!
If you’re interested in reading more, the Humane Society of the United States has an article here, just remember…
Including your pets in your estate planning will ensure you provide them the same peace they give you!
Have a very Happy New Year!
Contributed by Tatiana Hursky