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There are a lot of different tools for pet planning and they range from the very basic to sophisticated. So basic might be throwing in a provision for Fido or whatever the name of the Fifi is the name of the dog you used but it’s where you say hey, if you take Fido, I’m going to give you some cash and it’s done, or to the very sophisticated option where you can actually use a pet trust. And pet trusts are used for situations where what you’re doing is you’re filling up a bucket, a trust with assets to support that animal for its lifetime and it could be good for animals that have long life expectancies. Maybe it’s a very valuable animal. It could be an animal that has health issues or special care issues and so you’re in the trust agreement actually laying out requirements or letting the caregiver know how to take care of that pet.
The other thing besides death planning is, of course, what do you do in your lifetime if you’re unable to care for a pet? And there’s actually a durable power of attorney for pet care. And so let’s say someone’s going to go into the hospital they could grant someone that power to take care of their pet during that timeframe.
Eden Prairie, MN Estate Planning Attorney Karen Schlotthauer talks about how to plan for your pet in an estate plan.