Max, a nice Rottweiler with a great home was concerned about what would happen to him if his friends John and Gretchen get in an accident and don’t make it home one day. John’s always on his cell phone and Gretchen drives way too fast. We were able to fix Max up with a special power of attorney to help out if John and Gretchen are just injured and a will/trust arrangement to make sure Max has a good place to stay (with cable TV) if John and Gretchen bite the dust. Max was relieved and offered us one of his bones. Thanks, Max
Estate Planning for Pets
Our pets and animal friends mean so much to us, but most of us will never take the time to plan properly for them. Planning for our pets may be as simple as putting a provision in our durable power of attorney and our will or as complex as creating a separate pet trust to hold and benefit our friends. Imagine your dog with her own brokerage account! Who knows, maybe she would do better than you have done picking investments.
You can make up a separate power of attorney for your pets or may want to add language to your “regular” power of attorney. Essentially, you want to give consent for emergency treatment and authorize someone to take all steps necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of your pets.
Be responsible. Think through what your pet would need if you were gone. What standard of living or care would you want for your pet?
Pick your pet’s caregiver carefully. What do you know about the prospective new home for your pet?
A good book on the topic of estate planning for pets is All My Children Wear Fur Coats, by Peggy R. Hoyt.
Do you have a Pet Alert Card™ to make sure someone will know to help provide for your pets if you are out of commission? Pet owners should carry such a card in the same place as their driver’s license.
We would be happy to discuss appropriate estate planning for your pets. You can e-mail questions to Scooby at firstname.lastname@example.org