People don’t often consider the reality of their pets outliving them, simply because it’s most common for animals to depart first. But in the event that something happens to a pet owner, having accommodations in place for a furry friend will be sure to keep them safe and healthy for years to come.
What happens to pets after death occurs? Unfortunately, people often neglect the idea of their pet outliving them, an estimated 100,00 to 500,000 pets go to shelters each year after their owner’s death according the the Humane Society. Putting a plan in place is essential for a person to ensure that their pet is able to live as long and happy a life as possible after they pass away.
Here are a few ways to get started on that plan:
Set up a pet’s trust for after death.
A free-standing traditional pet trust is useful in instances where there may be conflict when providing an animal with new accommodations. The person who puts this trust into place can be assured that specificities like dietary restrictions and a certain number of vet visits per year will be carried out.
A trust is established during the owner’s lifetime and takes effect in the case that they become incapacitated or pass away. This legal document allows an owner to both establish rules and leave money for an animal for up to 21 years after their death – or the duration of the animal's life. It is recommended to set up a trust with an attorney in estate planning.
Include your pet(s) in your last will and testament.
Also according to the Humane Society, an estimated 27 percent of U.S. pet owners have wills that include provisions for their pets. However, just writing your animal's name down won’t ensure that they cared for.
While pets are legally considered property, these best friends hold more value than something like a leather sofa. In addition to putting a pet in one’s will, it is equally important to identify a trustworthy friend or relative who will be willing and able to take care of this pet.
Create a pet protection agreement.
Thanks to programs like LegalZoom, pet owners can provide for their pets after death. Here are a few things LegalZoom helps a person do:
- Name a legal pet guardian
- Leave money for your pet’s new guardian to cover vet and food expenses
- Leave a detailed list of instructions for care and grooming
- Prevent a judge from making a decision which could take months to finalize
Preparing a pet protection agreement is not only cost-effective, but it ensures that these animals will receive every level of care that they are accustomed to.
For any animal lover, setting up future plans for a pet will undoubtedly leave them at peace. Helping to ensure a pet receives plenty of love no matter what happens is as important as any will that can be drawn up.
At Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care, we understand that the entire patient deserves the attention of our team. That extends to support for their loved ones. For more information unique care programs offered by Crossroads, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.
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