Few companion animals have a greater impact on the lives of their owners than dogs. Unsurprisingly, according to a recent study, almost 90% of dog owners see their pups as part of their families. More than half report purchasing holiday gifts for their dogs.
If you worry about what may happen to your dog after your death, you may want to include the animal in your overall estate plan. There are a couple of different ways to accomplish this goal.
Your dog’s future
Even if you have lived a healthy and active life so far, an unexpected illness or serious injury may cut your life short. Depending on your dog’s health and breed, the animal may survive you by years. Your will can designate a kind individual or caring organization to provide shelter, food, companionship and other necessities.
Your dog’s expenses
Dogs are not the cheapest pets. After all, you must purchase food, toys and exercise gear for your pooch. You also may spend thousands of dollars on veterinary care or boarding. To be sure your dog continues to have an excellent quality of life, you may want to create a pet trust. This trust holds money specifically for the benefit of your dog.
Your legal options
Setting up a pet trust may give you some peace of mind. If the caretaker you name in the trust does not live up to his or her end of the bargain, your estate may be able to pursue legal action. Consequently, caregivers have an incentive to follow the care instructions they receive from animal owners.
When planning your estate, it may be tempting to focus on your possessions and human relatives. Ultimately, though, by including your dog in your estate plan, you give your dog a great life even if you are no longer around to give the animal a hug.