Providing For A Pet In Case You Die
Think about who should care for your pets, and how their care will be paid for. (For ideas, click here.)
Make arrangements for someone to take possession of your pet immediately. Let that person know about your pet's special needs as well as contact information for your veternarian.
For the longer haul, think about with whom your pet should live and how to provide finances for your pet's care.
You can provide for the care of your pet in your Will, a Trust or a Pet Protection Agreement. (For more information, click here.)
If you don't provide for your pets, they could be sent to a shelter, or possibly even put down. From a legal persepctive, a pet is property, not a loving companion.
- If you do not live alone, clarify who owns the pet. With a family, everyone may think the pet is theirs. If there is any question, have a discussion with all family members. To be safe, ask each to date and sign a piece of paper that says you own the pet.
- If you adopted your pet, confirm with the organization from which you adopted it that you are the legal owner. There are some agencies that continue to own the animal even after it is "adopted". They have been known to reclaim the animal on the death of the "owner" - even when there is another person who has bonded with the animal and is willing and capable of taking care of it.
- Make sure that all of your pets are accounted for.
- Give a copy of whatever documents you sign to all the people named in the document, your pet's veterinarian, and anyone else who might be present and willing to act on your pet's behalf when you cannot.
- Ask the people who will care for the pet to check on the pet as soon as they hear that you have become unable to take care of the pet, have become hospitalized or died. Be sure they have a key and know the animals habits (including food and exercise).
For more information, see: