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What happens to your pet if you get sick or pass away?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Estate Planning

Pets are beloved companions to many seniors across Colorado. But what happens to a feathered or furry friend when their owner can no longer take care of them?

That decision will depend on the plans a person did or did not make in their care and estate plans.

Appointing care providers

If you become ill, your pet may likely need a new home or someone else to care for them. You may need someone to walk or feed the animal and someone to bring them to the vet if they require care.

And unless you are living in a pet-friendly facility, you will need someone to take ownership of your pet.

In other words, the future care of your pet will depend significantly on whether you have made plans for hiring someone to come to your home to care for your pet, living in a pet-friendly community or re-homing your pet.

If you do need someone else to care for your animal, you can make the process easier for everyone by identifying that party yourself. As this article from the American Kennel Club suggests, you will want to consider factors like:

  • Who will be a capable caregiver
  • The conditions that may be in an agreement with a breeder
  • Whether a humane animal facility can take temporary care of the pet before someone else can adopt it

It can also be wise to have backup plans in place if your primary caregiver becomes unavailable.

Putting these wishes in your estate plan ensures others can carry them out appropriately.

Setting aside financial support

Caring for a pet involves more than providing a home and companionship, though these are undoubtedly vital to an animal’s well-being. There is also a financial element of pet ownership that can be quite extensive, depending on the type of animal it is and its care needs.

If you are willing and able to do so, setting aside money for the care of your animal can be a generous gift to future caregivers. 

However, it can be wise to talk to an attorney about ways to do this so that you know the funds are correctly allocated for pet care.

Making your plans clear

Identifying caregivers and setting aside money for your beloved animal companion can give everyone valuable guidance during an otherwise tumultuous transition. 

And knowing that your pet is in good hands can give you the peace of mind you deserve.

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