How to include beloved pets in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

For Oregon pet owners, there is no question the four-legged companions they live with are truly family members.  For this reason, it is increasingly common for people to consider the fate of their furry friends as part of estate planning. Here are three considerations pet owners should keep in mind when estate planning with a pet at home:

  • Finances: Any owner knows that there are many expenses involved in raising a pet. It is important for owners to calculate how much it might cost for someone to raise the pet in their absence, keeping in mind issues like life expectancy, potential future health issues, and compensation for professionals like groomers and dog walkers. 
  • Caretaking: Picking someone to care for the pet should the owner pass away is a critical, and often challenging, task. In addition to the primary choice, it is a good idea to designate a backup should that person be unable to care for the pet. Consider, too, whether the caretaker should be compensated for taking on this responsibility. 
  • Documentation: As with any estate planning matter, putting things clearly in writing is critical. Estate plans should include details on who should be responsible for the pet, the trustee for the funds set aside for the pet, and any additional instructions on preferences or caretaking. 

From vet bills to daily walks, pets need care even if their owners pass away. Without a doubt, this is much easier to address when an owner leaves a strong estate plan behind that considers all the needs of their beloved pet. For support setting up trusts, naming beneficiaries, and other important aspects of an estate plan as discussed in this article, it is a good idea to contact an Oregon estate planning attorney.