Don’t Forget Your Pets

 

Many of our clients have furry friends in their homes that offer unconditional love to their owners. For many, our dogs, cats and other animals are a special part of our family. In return, if you pass before your pets, or you get sick and can’t care for them, you should really consider putting in place at least provisions in your will and power of attorney, if not a pet trust.

 

Here are a few specifics tips to consider when planning your estate with pets in mind:

 

  1. Talk with someone or an organization in advance if you want that person or organization to watch after your pet in the event that something happens to you. See what they will need in order to take this job on.
     
  2. Consider leaving a sum of money in your will for each pet, depending on your pet’s age, medical condition and other needs. Coordinate with your estate planning attorney and financial advisor to ensure there is enough liquidity available for this.
  3. Make sure your power of attorney appoints your agent or someone else to care for your pets. Make sure that the power of attorney allows for at least reasonable compensation for the care of your pet, and also the ability for your agent to gift money for the care and maintenance of your pet.
  4. A pet trust may be useful if you wish for an account to be established that will provide for your pet over the rest of his or her life. Any unused funds would pass on to contingent beneficiaries or charities.

 

Have you thought about your pets in your estate plan? If not, please call our firm at 215-706-0200 to schedule a complimentary estate planning consultation.