Pets are beloved members of many households and are often cared for like any other member of the family. A person does not necessarily have to be of wealthy means to make the pet part of one’s estate planning. If individuals in Florida expect that their pets may outlive them, or if they just want to be well-prepared in case of an emergency, adding a pet into the estate plan can be a way to ensure that the pet’s needs are met throughout its lifetime. 

First, when making a plan for a pet, one should select a beneficiary who is a trusted friend or professional who can care for the pet after the owner has passed away. In a will, a person may also give the beneficiary a sum of cash for the pet’s care, but provisions such as these are not always enforceable. In some cases, it may be better to create a trust for the pet. 

In a trust, the person can create a framework that ensures the pet will be cared for in exactly the manner and means that the owner has set up. For a pet, there isn’t really a need for vast sums of cash, just a sufficient amount for its basic needs. Laws about pets and trusts can vary from state to state, so research can help with estate planning for pets. 

Individuals in Florida who wish to include their pets in the estate planning only need to ensure a few basic things. Most important are the caregiver the person selects and the funds that will be provided for the animal’s care. The more technical aspects such as forming a trust may require a bit of outside help. Many choose to consult with an estate planning attorney for more guidance on this issue. 

Source: bravotv.com, “Should I Have a Financial Plan for My Pet: Estate Planning“, Kristyn Pomranz, April 16, 2018