golden retriever

Planning for the future is often scary but necessary to ensure your loved ones are cared for after your passing. However, you may worry about one family member more than others – your four-legged friend. If you have a pet, you may wonder about what will happen to them upon your death. Luckily, there are ways to care for a pet after death. Keep reading to learn more about your options and discover how a Pasco County, FL wills & trusts lawyer can help you.

What Can I Do to Care for a Pet After I Pass?

If you’re worried about what will happen to your beloved pet upon your death, you must explore your options to keep your furry friend cared for. By far, the most widespread choice is to create a pet trust.

A pet trust allows you to protect your pet by naming a guardian to take care of them upon your death. It’s essential to have a conversation with the person you would like to care for your pet before naming them. If they agree, you can proceed. You should also name a few alternative options should the person named can no longer assume responsibility once the trust is established.

This option also allows you to put money into the trust to cover basic needs and medical expenses for your pet.

It’s important to understand that only animals alive during your lifetime are covered. The trust will end when the last living pet passes away. A pet trust does not extend to any offspring of your pet born after you pass.

How Do I Create a Pet Trust?

To create a pet trust, you’ll first need to determine how much money you want to place in the trust. It’s essential to provide a fair estimate, as the beneficiaries of your estate may contest the trust if you leave more money than necessary to provide for the animal. If the inheritors contest the trust, the judge will likely rule in their favor if the guardian of the pet is able to care for them using a portion of the funds.

You must also include the instructions for taking care of your pet. This includes a sleep and feeding schedule, which can help ensure the pet is not too disrupted when in the care of another. Be sure to include any and all crucial information, including veterinarian records.

Finally, you may want to consider naming a sanctuary or rescue as a “last-resort” guardian in the event no one else is able to assume ownership of your pet. This helps provide peace of mind that your pet will be taken care of no matter what.

At the Law Office of Matthew J. Jowanna, we understand that pets are family. As such, we will do everything possible to help you ensure that your furry friend is cared for. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you through this complex legal process.