When beginning an estate plan, many people forget about special members of their family. As important as your pets may be to you, you should think about their inclusion in an estate plan.
The National Law Review explains the importance of estate planning for pets.
Insert your pets into your estate plan
It is possible to set up a pet trust or a durable power of attorney for pet care. Regarding a pet trust, you can create a separate trust for your pet or include the pet in your existing trust. When creating a pet trust, you add money for your pet’s care. Then, you add a caretaker that you trust will care for your pet to your standards. The trust disburses funds to the caretaker at the discretion of the trustee. The funds for your pet can only go towards its care.
When you have a durable power of attorney for your pet, you can authorize another person to control the medical care of your pet. The extent of his or her authority depends on what you include in the document.
Leave behind clear instructions
Do not fail to include instructions for pet care. You may also want to consider naming successive caretakers in your trust, on the chance that someone becomes incapacitated. If your pet has special needs, you need to include the instructions to care for them as an attachment to the trust. Include your pet’s medical conditions, in addition to likes and dislikes.
When you create an estate plan with your pets in mind, you can decide what you want to be included in the plan.