VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Estate planning can include pets as well

Pets can be some of the most beloved members of the family for people in Florida and throughout the United States. Indeed, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, a full 68 percent of households across the nation own a pet, which amounts to around 85 million families.

One thing that can be difficult yet important to consider is how a pet will be provided for after the death of its owner. While stories about owners leaving large estates to their pets have received sensational news coverage, even pet owners of modest means may still want to consider provisions for their beloved creatures as part of their estate planning process.

There are a few ways that people can ensure the future protection of their pets. First, people planning their wills can find a family member or friend willing to take on their pet and be named as a beneficiary. This could also be accompanied by a sum of money to help provide for the creature.

Some people may wish to create a pet trust for more precise care of a pet and fund it appropriately based in part upon the pet's estimated life expectancy. For others with fewer options, an animal welfare organization could be a beneficiary of a pet. Of course, the owner should consult with the organization in advance to learn about specific guidelines.

An attorney can often help pet owners develop a solid plan for the future care of their animals. Having the appropriate estate in place can help the owners have some piece of mind in this regard.

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