As a California resident, you understand how important it is to plan for the future. Estate planning ensures that your loved ones are cared for after you’re gone, but have you considered the needs of your furry family members?
There are several things you need to do to care for your pets after you pass away.
Determine your pet’s needs
Take time to evaluate your pet’s needs. Consider their age, health and any special requirements they might have. Think about the type of care they’ll need in the future, as well as the financial resources required to provide for them.
Set up a pet trust
In California, you have the option to set up a pet trust to provide for your pet’s care after you pass away. A pet trust is a legally enforceable document that specifies how your pet should be cared for, as well as the funds allocated for their care. To create a pet trust, you’ll need to:
- Name the person you choose as your pet’s caregiver
- Choose a trustee who will manage the trust and ensure your pet’s caregiver uses the funds for their intended purpose
- Designate the pet or pets that the trust will cover
- Allocate funds to the trust, specifying how they should be used for your pet’s care
- Include instructions for your pet’s care, such as feeding schedules, exercise routines, and any specific medical needs
- Indicate what should happen to any remaining funds after your pet’s passing
Although a pet trust is a powerful tool for ensuring your pet’s care, it’s also a good idea to include provisions for your pet in your will. This can serve as a backup plan in case the trust is not executed properly. In your will, you can name the chosen caregiver and provide instructions for your pet’s care.