Including Pets in Your Estate Plans

LauraIncluding your pets in your estate plan is a very important concept that can help to protect your furry family members if something happens to you. In Texas recently, two dogs were spotted roaming the streets for several months after their owner died. The dogs were seen by one community member, Geri Alexander, who finally took the dogs, named Ellie and Hannah, into her home to provide care. Alexander found the dogs emaciated near a discount store and took them to a local veterinarian, where she discovered that the micro chipped pets belonged to a now-deceased owner. The dogs had been in the woman's backyard when she passed away from a heart attack at a local hospital.

A comprehensive estate plan may include a will, trusts, medical directives, and powers of attorney. Including plans for pets, however, is something that many individuals don't think about. Determining where your pets fit into your estate plans can be discussed with your DuPage County attorney, and it can include ideas as simple as carrying around a card with the names of and details about your pets. If someone uncovers this information and something has happened to you, your pets may get some attention and comfort much more quickly. Those who wish to include more specific details should consider setting up a specific trust to fund the care of the animals.

Having a conversation with other family members or friends about your wishes and possible plans can be helpful, too. In the event that something happens to you, it can make the transition easier for your animals if they are cared for by a person they already know. If you would like to discuss your existing estate plan or the development of a new one, customized specifically for your needs, hire an attorney today. Retaining the services of an experienced Illinois estate planning lawyer can provide peace of mind and clarity for your plans.