Estate Planning for Pets

It is all too common that pet owners do not know how to provide for their pets after they pass away. Most hope that one of their family members or close friends will provide care for their pet. That may or may not be the case. The cost of providing care for our pets has increased as technology has developed. It is not uncommon for a pet to require surgery, medication or a special (sometimes costly) diet. Most pet owners today would choose to incur the cost of repairing broken bones and fixing other ailments for their pets. Not too long ago we did not have such choices and sick pets were put to sleep. Veterinarians are able to perform medical procedures today that weren't offered 5 and 10 years ago. That explains the increase in pet owners purchasing pet health insurance.

Have you thought of who will care for your pet? Does that person have the funds to care for your pet as you would? A healthy pet can cost a couple of thousand dollars a year to maintain. Will that cost be a financial burden to who ever cares for your pet? Your pet is a member of your family and should be provided for as other members of your family.

A recent trend in the estate planning field has been to create a trust in your Will that will set out who shall care for your pet, what measures should be taken to care for your pet and the funds needed to carry out your wishes. Many pet owners who don't have the funds to set up a trust for their pet will obtain a low cost, term, life insurance policy. When you pass away the policy amount could fund the trust and be available for your pet's needs. If your pet passes away prior to using all of the money in the trust, many pet owners will leave the balance in the trust to a charity organization to help other pets that are not as fortunate.