As the holidays approach, you are likely becoming increasingly concerned about choosing the perfect gift for your pet. Something new to chew or chase? Tasty treats? Perhaps a multilevel hand-crafted cat tree, or this season’s latest raincoat for your dog?
All of these gifts are fun. And yes, you should buy all of them. But, what about the gift of security? Suppose you can’t care for your pet due to your incapacity or death? It’s not fun to think about, but it could happen. And, eventually, it does happen to all of us. Heartbreaking stories abound of abandoned animals, with nowhere to go when their people can’t care for them. If you want to give the gift of safety, here are some options to consider:
- Download our free pet information form. In the event of your incapacity or death, information will be available to help ensure that your pet receives appropriate food, medications, and care.
- Consider updating your estate planning documents to include a pet trust. Pet trusts tend to be especially useful for pets that require extensive and expensive care.
- If a pet trust is not needed, you may nonetheless wish to update your estate planning documents to provide for your pet. Who do you want to care for your pet? And, do you want to provide some financial assistance to that person to make sure taking on this responsibility won’t become burdensome?
- You may also want to consider the Pet Guardian Program through the Seattle Humane Society. In exchange for a lifetime fee of $1,000, this program provides a variety of services to care for your pets in the event of your incapacity or death. Significantly, the program pledges to “[t]ake as long as necessary to place adoptable pets into appropriate loving homes.”
In addition to the fun squeaky toy, the one that your much loved pet will toss about at 3:00 a.m. each morning, the gift of security may prove to be a valuable gift that gives much to your pet and also gives you peace of mind. If you need assistance, please let us know. We’re passionate about our estate planning work related to pets!
Photo credit: Stacey Romberg