Only 17% of dog or cat owners have taken any legal steps to provide for pets' care after their death, according to a recent survey by the ASPCA. Most people simply assume that a friend or relative will take care of their pet after they're gone, animal advocates say, and many pets wind up in shelters when such ad hoc arrangements fall through.
When you plan for your estate, you include the people you love and the property and/or assets you own. But don’t forget about another part of planning – your pets! You still need to make plans for any family members who have feathers, fins or fur.
A recent article in Kiplinger was a bit more blunt: “Put a Plan in Place to Ensure [for your] Pets' Care.”
It is easy to forget about planning for your pet or to simply assume someone will step in and care for them. Unlike family heirlooms or bank accounts, other family members may not step up to care for your pets. Even if they would like to, it may not work for them financially, logistically, allergenically, or otherwise.
Unfortunately, things do not always fall into place so easily when pets are at stake. In the end, providing for your special friends is your last responsibility for them.
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Reference: Kiplinger (June 2013) “Put a Plan in Place to Ensure Pets' Care”