Livens & Reed, PLLC

Long-term care for beloved pets provides great peace of mind

Many persons find that they and their families are attached with a lasting bond to their beloved and faithful pets. Few people in Texas, or anywhere else for that matter, have done anything to provide long-term care for their pets in the event that they are left without the care of their owners at some time in the future. Fortunately, it is not that difficult to set in motion certain contingencies to take care of pets should an unfortunate separation occur.

The Humane Societies throughout the country have taken up this subject and may have valuable information and assistance for the interested owner. Some protection for pets can be as simple as having neighbors and relatives assigned to care for the pets in the event of a temporary or even permanent separation. Perhaps the ideal situation would be to have relatives who already know and love the animals ready and willing to take over if and when necessary.

If that kind of care is a available, it may be best to formalize it in some instances. Legal options are available through one's estate-planning attorney to establish acceptable provisions in one's will for formalization of the care of the pets if and when it becomes necessary. Additionally, a trust fund can be set up through a testamentary trust in the will to provide funding to those individuals who will care for the animals.

It is therefore important to put a long-term care plan in writing and formalized for use if the pet's owner dies or is incapacitated. In that sad situation, a pet could be left alone for days or longer if no set plan has been established. Because of the expense of giving care to animals, including veterinary care, the owner may feel the necessity to provide for the funding of caregivers' expenses through the will or other trust device. For animal lovers residing in Texas, this important issue can be taken up with the friends and relatives ready to help. That may be supported by legal backing, which can be initiated by consulting with one's elder law attorney.

Source:, "Plan now for your pets should something happen to you", Doug Arnold, May 26, 2015

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