Pets are more than just furry creatures that live in your home. A Harris Poll conducted of 2,225 adults showed that 95 percent of pet owners consider pets to be members of their family. If you view your pet as a beloved family member, you need to make provisions to care for this loved one, just as you would for any other family member. This means addressing what will happen to your pet if you become incapacitated or pass away.
At Kinghorn Heritage Law Group, we can help you create a plan that protects your pet in case you pass away or can otherwise no longer care for them. Give us a call at (520) 529-4000 to make an appointment to talk with a Tucson pet planning lawyer about why you need a pet plan and what your plan should include. You can get personalized advice and answers to questions you have about the pet planning process including:
- Why do I need a pet plan?
- What should be included in your pet plan?
- How can a Tucson pet planning lawyer help?
Why Do I Need a Pet Plan?
Young adults have the highest rates of pet ownership, according to the recent Harris Poll. While around 62 percent of households have at least one pet in their house, 65 percent of Millennials and 71 percent of GenXers reported pet ownership.
Many young people assume they will be able to care for their pet for the duration of the pet’s life. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even a young and healthy person will not experience an incapacitating illness or injury that makes them incapable of living independently or that causes an untimely death. If no plans have been made for the care of the pet and something happens to the pet’s owner, this could result in the animal being sent to a shelter or to another inappropriate living environment.
Of course, older pet owners are also at risk of their pets outliving them, especially seniors who have a statistically significant chance of passing away or of developing an illness that forces nursing home admission.
If you own a pet, at any age, you should recognize the risks to your pet and make a plan so your pet is provided for no matter what happens to you. Sadly, millions of loving animals are euthanized in shelters every year in the United States. You do not want your pet to end up being one of them because you have no plan in place if you pass away or become unable to care for them.
What Should be Included in Your Pet Plan?
Your pet plan should include selecting a guardian for your pet and making provisions in your will for the guardian to take custody of the animal. It is imperative that you speak with the person who you have chosen as a guardian to make sure they are willing to assume responsibility. Because circumstances can change, you should also select a backup guardian in case the person who had originally agreed to care for the animal is unable to do so.
For many people, choosing a guardian and providing instructions for their pet in their will is the extent of the planning they do. However, some caring pet owners decide to go further. These pet owners know there are costs associated with caring for a pet and they don’t want to ever see their animal go without.
If you want to ensure you have provided money for things like veterinary care, doggy daycare, or your pet’s favorite toys, you can make plans to leave money for your animal. Of course, your pet cannot inherit directly or manage the inheritance himself. As a result, you may wish to create a Trust. A Trust ensures that the money you left behind must be used to provide for the pet. You can name a Trustee who is in charge of using the funds in the Trust to care for the animal and you can provide very specific instructions regarding how the money is to be used.
How can a Tucson Pet Planning Lawyer Help
A Tucson pet planning lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in making the plans that are so essential to protecting your pet if something happens to you. Kinghorn Heritage Law Group has helped many pet owners fulfill their responsibilities and ensure their animals are always safe. Give us a call at (520) 529-4000 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help you.