What Happens to Your Pet When You Die? How to Plan for Them Now

The pet industry has grown three times in size since 1996. In fact, 44 percent of Millennials report that they are unsure if they want to have children, so they are often getting pets instead. Pets are a lot like children for many people. That means that you may want to take care of them as if they are children after you pass as well.

The law in Florida, like many other states, treats pets as property, which means you need to take extra steps in your estate plan to provide for your fur babies. Otherwise, your pets will be included in the property distribution you describe in your will. So how you can you plan for your pets now to ensure that they are cared for after you are gone? You have a few options.

  1. Leave money to a family member or other loved one for the care of your pet.

You can alter your estate planning documents to include a special set-aside fund that will go to a friend or family member. Consider how much it will take to care for your pet on an annual basis to reach an amount that will reimburse your loved one for taking care of your pet.

Be sure to talk to this person about their potential responsibilities. Adding a pet to a home may not be an option for some people, so be sure that they can take your pet ahead of time.

Although you can explicitly state that the money you are providing to your loved one is for the care of your pet, saying that in your will does not do much. In fact, your loved one can spend that money however they wish. If you are going to use this method, be sure that you trust your loved one to look after your pet as you would.

  1. Create a pet trust.

Florida law allows you to create a pet trust for your furry friend. This type of trust sets aside a certain amount of money for your pet and designates a trustee as the manager of the funds. It also assigns a separate caregiver. Then, you can select a third party as someone who can have the right to take those individuals to court if they are not performing their duties. That way, the trustee and the caregiver will work together to ensure that your pet is cared for as you intended.

Unlike setting aside money for your pet, creating a pet trust gives several people the option to involve the court if the trust guidelines are not met.

  1. Leave money to a pet rescue organization.

You also have the option of asking a pet rescue organization to care for your pet after you pass. The money that you leave to the organization can be specially designated to care for your pet and then any money that is left over after your pet passes can be donated to the organization as a whole. This option works well for those who may not have loved ones who are willing or able to care for their pet.

You can explore your estate planning options regarding your pets with the team at Legacy Planning Law Group. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.