Protecting Your Pets with Estate Planning

This is Fred. He is a very good boy who loves walks, cuddles, and bacon. Being a responsible pet owner not only requires giving Fred lots of love (and snacks), but also ensuring that someone will step in if I am no longer able to care for him.

Your estate plan can ensure your pets are in good hands if you die or become incapacitated. For example, your Durable Power of Attorney may include a provision authorizing your agent to provide for your pet’s custody and care.

With a pet trust, you can nominate someone to act as your pet's caretaker. Detailed care instructions in a separate document could be simply referenced in your pet trust, allowing you the flexibility to modify instructions as your pet’s needs and tastes change without having to update your trust. You can also fund your pet trust so that money will be available to ensure your furry friend can enjoy his usual standard of care without placing a financial burden on his caretaker.

Planning for your pets can reduce conflict as well. Family members may fight over who should have custody of your pet, but making the decision and nominating a caretaker beforehand will help to avoid those arguments.

Including basic provisions for your pet creates an estate plan that provides for all your loved ones. If you have questions about how to create a plan that includes the animal in your life, contact our office at or (248) 477-6300.

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