Livens & Reed, PLLC

Including pets as part of the estate planning process

Families in Texas and across the country can have a variety of different compositions. In fact, some families may count more than humans as members of their family. For many, the family pet is a member of the family whose owners want to ensure is protected even when they are not around to do so. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken in the estate planning process that can help ensure this.

It is often beneficial to have a conversation with friends or family members to help determine who would be willing to take care of the pet in case the person becomes incapacitated or passes away unexpectedly. Unfortunately, animal shelters are accustomed to receiving pets from owners who can no longer provide appropriate care. Fortunately, there are steps that can help ensure an animal receives appropriate care.

For example, the pet owner can leave money to go toward the care of the pet. Tools, such as a pet trust, can help ensure that the pet actually benefits from the funds. Perhaps most important to the process is putting careful thought into who will provide the care, and having honest conversations with that person to ensure that he or she is willing to fulfill that responsibility.

While there are a variety of different estate planning tools that could help ensure a pet receives the care it needs for the rest of its life, a professional with experience is often beneficial. With such a person guiding pet owners throughout the process, one can ensure that his or her wishes are adequately expressed and enforceable. With such efforts in place, pet owners in Texas can have peace of mind that their beloved pet is still cared for even when they are no longer able to provide that care.

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