Include Your Pets in Your Estate Plan
Nearly 85 million U.S. households count pets as family members. Not surprisingly dogs, cats and freshwater fish are most popular – and millennials tend to own birds.* Some dogs and cats can live to 15 years or more and parrots to 50, so there’s a chance your pet may outlive you.
Have you thought about who would care for your pet in your absence? It’s risky to make assumptions. Your child may have a spouse who’s allergic or live where pets are not permitted. And some pets are difficult to care for. It’s best to arrange for their care in advance.
Pets are like family. Treat them like family by updating your estate plan to include:
- Your choice of guardian. Select someone you trust to assume their care. Talk your intended caregiver, in advance, and secure a written agreement. Provide detailed instructions about your pets’ care, including medical records, names of vets and groomers and the type of food they eat.
- Financial compensation for care. Your pets’ caregiver will need to pay for their upkeep, including everyday- and emergency care. Estimate financial outlays based on your pet’s life expectancy and include your wishes for where any remaining funds should go if your pet dies before the resources run out.
Whether you choose to set up a pet trust, establish pet provisions in your will or create a simple pet care agreement, make sure your wishes are documented in writing and incorporated into your estate plan.
If your estate plan needs revising to include your pets, contact your Luma Wealth Advisor to arrange a review. And if you’re interested in exchanging ideas about legacy planning, please join us for a Lunch and Learn or Solutions for Women event.
*Insurance Information Institute, Facts and Statistics: Pet Statistics