Estate Planning and Wills for your Pet

Many pet owners do not consider the ramifications should their pets outlive them.  If you are concerned about your pets wellbeing, we have provided information and links to help you provide for their care after you are gone.



Choosing an Executor – Carefully choose your executor.  You will need someone who is emotionally strong, honest, and has integrity.  You will need an executor that you trust.  A weak-willed executor can be talked out of following your wishes and into keeping or selling “items” as a bonus payment for their services.  An executor can be pushed by a greedy spouse, adult child, or older parent, to do things that they would not do on their own.  An executor is not required to follow through on a will unless your will is in a trust.

Select an Executor who is concerned about the wellbeing of your pets and will follow your instructions regarding their aftercare.  Don’t assume a family member will take your pet after your death, especially if your family members are not pet lovers.

You may want to consider two people as your executors. That way have a check and balance system put into place.  An executor does have a lot of work to do in executing your will.

Take advantage of an Estate Planning Book.  An estate planning book will help your executor find your paperwork for savings accounts, checking accounts, insurance policies, and they will have knowledge of what possessions you want to go to a particular individual.  Keep this paperwork in a safe place such as a fire safe file box.

Different states have different laws and some do allow for providing for a pet in their wills.  You will need to find out what the laws are in your state.

It is always best to check with an attorney when writing up a will. We recommend you to pick an honest attorney, who specializes in wills and probate regarding pets.

You may want to procure the services of an attorney. An attorney will ensure that the provisions you make for your bequests, whether it be friends, relatives or pets, will comply with existing state laws. An attorney will keep a copy of the will, so it cannot be altered by others. You can add a codicil to a will to make revisions, through your attorney.

Pet owners may want to ask the attorney if having a separate bank account with the future owner of your dog as an co-owner of that account will suffice, in your state, to ensure money for pet upkeep is provided. 


Estate Planning for your Pet


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