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Estate Planning with Pets in Mind

Estate planning is an important way to protect and provide for your loved ones—and for many individuals, those loved ones include pets!

Now, to be clear, pets can’t be property owners, so you cannot leave physical assets to a dog or cat in the same way you could your spouse or your children. With that said, you can use your estate plan to make sure that your pet goes to a loving, caring new owner when you die; and, that the new owner has the means to provide adequate care.

How to Include Your Pet in Estate Planning

The first thing you’ll need to do, of course, is simply find a person who is willing to become your pet’s owner after you die. You can work out a non-legal arrangement with this person, but it’s often wise to ensure your will covers it, too.

Again, you can’t actually use your will to leave money or resources to your pet, but you can use your will to leave your pet to a designated guardian—and, you can also use your will to leave the owner money or other physical assets that can make caring for your pet far easier.

For example, your will might stipulate that, in the event of your death, your dog and $3,000 go to your brother, John; John is tasked with caring for your dog, and the $3,000 is provided to help cover veterinary bills, boarding, or other expenses.

You can actually go a step further and use a trust to protect your pet; in most cases this is unnecessary, but it’s something you can always discuss with an estate planning professional.

If you have any questions about how to include your pet in your estate planning, reach out to the team at Singh Law Firm today.

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