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Making Pets Part of the Plan

Using a pet trust to ensure your whole family is taken care of

I’m a pet parent. My wife and I share our home with two wonderful senior rescue kitties. We try to give them nothing but the best, the best food, best medical care and as much love and attention that (let’s be honest) they can tolerate. That’s why I was not at all surprised to read in this April, 2015 article that the pet industry generated almost 60 billion dollars last year. People, much like myself, see their companion animals as part of their families and care for them much in the same way they’d care for any other family member.
I was also heartened to see this article address the idea of planning. Bringing in a new pet is a huge responsibility and with those responsibilities come financial concerns. As the article states, there are resources available to prospective pet guardians to research when deciding how much money it will cost to bring a pet into their life. The ASPCA offers such a tool to help with these calculations, both for the first year of adoption as well as the years following.
The ASPCA also advocates for another type of planning for your pets, estate planning. Pets, just like all your other loved ones, can now be a part of your estate plan. In New York State the best way to ensure that your beloved companions are well cared for is through the use of a pet trust. This legal tool can help you ensure the long-term care for your animals and even set up a pool of money that will be dedicated to the care and comfort of your pets. Too many times our companion animals can get lost in the shuffle when their guardian passes away. A pet trust will ensure not only that there is someone designated to take care of those animals but also that there is money dedicated to the sole purpose of ensuring them the life they once had with their guardian.
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