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Estate Planning: Preparing For Your Pet’s Future

Estate Planning: Preparing For Your Pet’s Future

Estate Planning for Pets

6 steps to take before you begin estate planning for your pet’s future.

Many of us have at least one beloved pet in our lives. These pets can be dogs, cats, parrots, fish, iguanas, or any other animal that you care for and are dedicated to. When we begin the estate planning process, several people are surprised to find out that you can add your pet into a trust or a will.

The main reason for including your pet in your estate planning is to make sure that your pet will be cared for if you outlive them. Although you can’t literally give your pup thousands of dollars to live off of, you can set up a care plan for your pet. However, there are quite a few things you need to think about before you set up your pet care plan


Unless your pet is a very intelligent parrot, your pet will probably not be able to speak on their own behalf. So, during the estate planning process, you want to make sure that your pet can be properly identified. You want to be able to provide a name, identification numbers, and any other information that will help someone make sure that it is your pet that will be taken care of.


Finding a caregiver can be one of the most difficult parts. This is the person that will be taking over if you outlive your pet. You need to first discover your options. Find out who would be willing to care for your pet. This can be neighbors, friends, family, or even organizations. Once you have options, then you have to narrow it down to two caregivers. You want to choose a main caregiver and a secondary caregiver.


Another important part of the estate planning process is figuring out how much it will cost to care for your pet. How much are veterinary bills? How much is your pet’s food? How much are your pet’s toys? How much do you spend on medicine? The list goes on.

Standard of Living

Another important factor that you will want to think about is your pet’s standard of living. How do you want your pet to live? Some dogs are mainly outside dogs while others are inside dogs. You also want to state what kind of food your dog eats and if they take any vitamins or medication. You want to provide any wishes you would like to have for your pet in regards to the way they live and spend the rest of their lives.


Burial of your pet can be included in your estate planning process. You may have preferences on where and how your would like your pet to be buried or cremated.

Trust or Will

Another important thing you need to ask yourself is if you would like to have your pet added to a living trust or a living will. The difference is that a trust goes into effect when you create it and a will goes into effect after you pass away or if you are incapable of communicating decisions.

Estate Planning with Appleby Healy Attorneys at Law

Estate planning for your pet will ensure that the animal who has provided you with love, loyalty, and companionship over the years will be well cared for. Appleby Healy Attorneys at Law is an established local law firm in Ozark, Missouri that will gladly help you with any questions you have about pet estate planning. Contact us today for more information or to get started on your estate planning process.


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