Our pets are the joys of our lives, and they feel the same way about us. If there’s a chance your pet may outlive you, you want to make sure it continues to be well taken care of. Do you know anyone with a parrot? They can live to be eighty years old, and have a higher chance of outliving their owners. It’s important to think about who will take care of your pet and to provide them with the funds to do so.
Estate planning for pets has become more common recently, and the costs account for food, vet bills, medication, travel expenses, and more. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your pet is in the best hands and receives the best care possible:
• Write up detailed care instructions, including diet, medication, vet schedule, travel instructions, and anything else that is important in their routine
• Identify the primary caretaker of your pet, plus back-ups
• Leave money in a trust for the caretaker to use to provide for your animal. There are ways to ensure the money is only used for your pet, such as designating a trustee who will be responsible for giving money to the caretaker as needed over time.
• Microchip your pet for identity confirmation. There are unfortunate stories of caretakers replacing the animal once it dies with a similar-looking one to keep the funds coming.
• If possible, find an “animal care panel,” which is a group of veterinarians who check in on your pet to ensure it’s being cared for as intended
• Sometimes people leave their homes to their pets and caretakers to ensure their pets don’t need to adjust to new surroundings
• If you’re unable to find someone you know to care for your pets, you can bequest them to an animal welfare nonprofit. They usually require a fee and guarantee your pet will be cared for until a suitable family is found.