Your pets are a part of the family. There’s fond memories, laughs, lots of time spent talking back and forth – and you have a soft spot for them, whether a cat, dog, fish, horse, lizard, or other pet.
What happens to them after you pass away?
It’s up to you.
You can designate specific caretakers – such as a family member, friend, or trusted no-kill shelter that can find them loving homes – and provide funds to ensure they are provided for long after you’re gone through pet trusts and other means.
Many people don’t, however. And with so many details to take care of upon someone’s passing, it can be very easy to forget about the pets, leaving their future in limbo. Leaving the decisions as a matter of probate puts undue pressure on the rest of your family or other beneficiaries, and many times, they simply don’t have the means to take in another animal or two.
Post-Gazette.com featured an article on the subject in October, which provides excellent illustration of the need to think for your pets – and how it’s not an uncommon question for those engaging in estate planning and thinking through their wills!
“If someone elderly ends up in a nursing home, their dog or cat often goes to a shelter and hasn’t been provided for,” says Marianna Schenk, a Bala Cynwyd estate lawyer.
“A lot of people just die without a will. Whoever settles their affairs may not want the animals. That’s very sad. It’s better to make a provision in your estate for your pets.
“Friends or children may not want your dogs – even though they may want everything else.”
If you want to ensure your pets are thought for, contact us – and feel free to ask about our pets, too. We love talking about them, just like you!