If you are like many pet owners, you consider your animals to be part of your family. If you want to ensure your pets’ well-being after you pass away, you may use your will to do so.
While providing for human heirs in your will is fairly straightforward, detailing a plan for your pets’ care is slightly more complicated. As AARP points out, some of the main parts of pet estate planning are naming a guardian and allocating funds for your pets’ food, shelter and veterinary care.
Naming a guardian
One of the most important parts of providing for your pets’ care after you are gone is ensuring they have a loving home to go to. Taking care of an animal is a serious responsibility that requires a lot of time and attention. As such, it is essential to make sure you verify that your intended guardian is willing to take your pets into his or her home and care for them for years. AARP states that even if you have close friends or family members who love your pets, they may not have homes or schedules that are conducive to caring for pets. Once you have chosen the right guardian, you may include his or her name in your will.
Providing monetary resources
Pet care is often expensive, especially when you include all the costs that add up over several years. Providing some funds in your will for your pets’ care may reduce the guardian’s financial burden. In most cases, you may not name a pet as an heir like your spouse or children. Instead, you may create a trust for your pet. A trustee manages the money and ensures the guardian uses it to care for your pet as directed in your will.