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3 Legal Options To Ensure Pet Care After Your Death

Everyone involves family in estate planning, but what about pets? It’s indeed a concern, especially for individuals who love their pets like a family. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about this anymore!

Legally, you can provide care for your pet using many strategies, such as creating a Trust, appointing a guardian, choosing a pet care organization, etc. All these options are great; you must select the one that suits you.

For your guidance, we’ll explain all the options below so you can plan for your pet’s care after you die. We’ll also address whether leaving money in your pet’s name is possible. So keep reading!

Who Will Care For My Pet When I Die?

Many possibilities exist for who’ll take care of the pet after death. Typically, your pet will go to individuals you’ve legally designated as their guardians in your life in the Will. That individual could be your friend or a family member.

However, if you haven’t made any plans, your pet will likely fall under the care of your next of kin. It’s crucial to note that your next of kin might not be willing or able to care for your pet. In such cases, your pet may end up in the care of an animal shelter.

3 Best Ways To Plan Pet Care After Death

Below are some of the best ways to plan care after death. You can read about all of the options and make your pet’s future secure.

1. Create Trust For Your Pet

Creating a Trust is the best way to plan a secure and comfortable future for your pet. It’s the best way so far because you can put a sum of money in the Trust’s name and choose a responsible person to be the Trustee.

A Trustee is a person who will act as a guardian for your pet and the money or assets it holds. The Trustee will use the Trust’s wealth to care for the pet for the rest of its life according to the instructions you’ve provided in the Trust documents.

2. Nominate Someone In Your Will

If setting up a Trust isn’t feasible, you can select a caretaker or a guardian for your pet in your Will. The person for guardians can be from the family, friends, or anyone you trust to look after your pet.

It’s important to provide clear guidelines in your Will regarding your pet’s care. Remember that the nominated caretaker can decline the responsibility, so choose someone committed to caring for your pet.

3. Choose A Pet Care Organization

Not everyone nominated in your Will may be able or willing to care for your pet. This is why selecting a pet care organization as a guardian is another suitable option. It’s a better solution for individuals who want to leave their pets to a professional pet care organization.

You can leave a donation or assets in the organization’s name and make them responsible for your pet’s care. But before finalizing this arrangement, remember to engage in open communication with the organization.

Can You Leave Money For Your Pet?

No, you can’t leave money for your pet. Under the law, pets are considered property, which means they can’t own another’s property. However, this doesn’t diminish your responsibility to ensure your pet’s well-being.

As the guardian, you must provide your pet with the best possible life. If you wish to leave funds for your pet’s care, you must choose another person you trust. You can leave money to someone through a Will or by establishing a Trust.

Just ensure that the chosen individual is responsible and capable of caring for your pet as you would. If you don’t have someone suitable, you can also consider selecting a reputable pet care organization to fulfill this role.

Final Words

You can ensure your pet’s good life even after your death in various ways, which we discussed today. You can nominate a guardian through a Will, establish a pet care Trust, or select a reputable organization for pet care.

Each option has its pros, and the choice is yours. However, creating a legal document that clearly outlines the responsibilities you want to assign to the guardian is essential. This ensures a secure future for your pet.

If you wish, you can discuss the future of your pet’s life after your passing with our lawyers at CPT Law. They will provide detailed guidance on the options available to help make the right decision.

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Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.

By Dustin MacFarlane

Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.