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Can I Include Pets in My Estate Planning Strategy?

When clients sit with us to discuss their estate planning, their mind naturally turns to how best to protect their loved ones. And for the most part, that obviously means their children, spouses, grandchildren, elderly parents, and even siblings. But every so often, clients ask about potential options for pets in their estate planning strategy.


Is that possible? Can your fur babies be included in how you intend to approach life’s what-ifs?


Absolutely! And this is a breath of fresh air for families whose relationships with their pets are just as meaningful as those with their family and friends. So having a plan in place for what happens to them after you’re gone makes perfect sense.


Estate Planning for Pets


It is only natural that you’d want to ensure your pet has a good life and is well cared for after you die. And when it comes to estate planning, one of the more popular options is a pet trust.


Much like a traditional trust for yourself, a pet trust can be used to financially provide for one or more pets’ future care after you are gone. Essentially, you fund the trust while you are still alive, name a trustee and caretaker, and then include specific instructions for how money in the trust will be utilized or distributed for your pet’s benefit.


No two pet owners have the same planning goals or requirements. But for the most part, pet trusts can include:


• Resources to properly care for your pet

• What type of food you prefer they eat

• Desired living arrangements

• Specific medications your pet requires and existing medical issues

• Veterinarian information for future health concerns

• Who is responsible for daily care

• Daily routines and preferred toys


Obviously, you could go with a less informal arrangement for your pet’s future care. But having a pet trust in place sooner rather than later can provide the peace of mind you need now and well into the future. Having a skilled and compassionate estate planning attorney to help you draft these documents is even more critical. That’s where Caitlyn Ashley Law can help!



Caitlyn's Boston Terriers Petie (2007-2018) and Sophie (b. 2017) Photography by CLovePhotography.

Call Caitlyn Ashley Law Today!!


Having a plan for the future is the most important gift you can give yourself and your family. Granted, none of us will ever know for sure what is around every corner in life. And just thinking about the what-ifs — what if I were to die or become incapacitated tomorrow; what if my child with special needs has no one to care for her; what if all my “stuff” isn’t passed onto the right people — can be overwhelming. But having a plan that accounts for your family’s unique circumstances, puts your affairs in order, has concrete solutions to your concerns, lays out your wishes and goals, and protects your family’s future provides peace of mind for the road ahead.

Caitlyn Ashley Law in Denton, Texas, Will counsel you on which documents are best suited for your needs and ensure they are flexible enough to meet your changing needs for years to come.

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