Pets are like members of the family, but the law in Indiana sees them as property. It does not recognize them as living beings. This may make you wonder if you can provide for them in your estate plan or if all you can do is leave them to someone like you would any other asset. Even though the state may see them as property, it does recognize they are not like a car or a family heirloom. So, yes, you can provide for your pet in your estate plan.

Fidelity explains that you can create a trust to help pay for your pet’s expenses after your death. You may also assign a caregiver to your pet and provide financial compensation for that role. You may also set up care plans if you become unable to provide care for yourself while still alive.

It is important when choosing a caregiver that you get that person’s permission. You need to make sure the person will really want to take care of your pet. You also need to trust that person will abide by your wishes and take care of your pet in the way you want.

If you leave money for your pet, you want to be sure to let your family know about it. You do not want them to be upset after the fact and try to fight your estate. This could hold things up and prevent your pet from getting the care it needs or access to money for things, such as food and medical care. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.