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Pet Guardians: Is Your Pet Protected?

In Cats, Dogs, Laws by Emotional Pet Support TeamLeave a Comment

As a dedicated and loving pet owner, have you ever wondered what would happen to your beloved companion if something happened to you? The thought can be overwhelming, but knowing what to do can ensure your furry friend’s well-being.

Leaving your pet to competent pet guardians is one of the best ways to ensure it will be cared for. Read on to learn more about the nuances of keeping your pets protected and the different methods you can choose from that an estate planning attorney may suggest. 

Including a pet clause in your last will and testament

For many people, pets are an integral part of their family, and it’s only natural that they would want to ensure their furry companions are well-cared for in the event of their passing.

One way to achieve this is by including a pet clause in your last will. This provision can specify who should take care of your pet and outline any financial resources you want to leave behind for their care. 

However, it’s essential to note that a will alone might not guarantee your pet’s future, as it is not legally enforceable. A will is merely an expression of your wishes, and a judge may not uphold it if they believe it’s not in the animal’s best interest. Consider working with a guardianship lawyer to protect your pet from establishing a legally binding pet trust.

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Choosing a pet guardian

Like entrusting a babysitter with your child, selecting a pet guardian requires your attention. After all, this individual will be responsible for the care and well-being of your pet after your death, so it’s essential to choose someone who shares your love and dedication to animals.

List potential candidates, considering their experience with pets, lifestyle, and location. Once you’ve narrowed your options, have open conversations with each candidate about their willingness to assume this responsibility. 

Remember, being a pet guardian is a long-term commitment, and you must be confident in your choice to ensure your pet’s future safety and happiness.

Leave money for pets?

While pets can bring immeasurable joy and companionship to our lives, it’s no secret that their care can come with a price tag

Veterinary bills, food, grooming, and other expenses can add up, and it’s important to consider these costs when planning for your pet’s future. Leaving money for your pet’s care in your will can help ensure they receive the attention and resources they need to thrive after your passing. 

Thus, be aware that there may be more effective strategies than leaving a lump sum of money to your pet, as pets are not legally capable of owning property or assets. 

Leaving instructions for your pet guardian

Just as every pet is unique, so are their needs and preferences. To ensure that your pet continues to receive the care they are accustomed to, it’s essential to provide your chosen guardian with detailed instructions regarding your pet’s routine, diet, medical history, and any other pertinent information. 

This guide can help your pet maintain a sense of consistency and familiarity in their new environment, easing the transition and minimizing stress. Include contact information for your pet’s veterinarian, groomer, and other relevant professionals for your pet’s care.

Set Up A Pet Trust For The Protection

A pet trust is a legal arrangement that provides a more secure option to ensure your pet’s protection after death. 

Unlike a simple clause in your will, this trust is legally enforceable and can provide more detailed instructions regarding your pet’s care. Working with an estate planning attorney to establish a trust allows you to appoint a trustee to manage the funds you allocate for your pet’s care and a caregiver who will be responsible for your pet’s physical well-being. 

This arrangement offers peace of mind, ensuring that your pet will be cared for according to your wishes and that the funds you set aside will be used solely for their benefit.

What happens to your pet when you die?

It’s a sobering reality that our pets may outlive us, and planning for their future is essential to responsible pet ownership. If you have yet to take the necessary steps to ensure your pet’s protection after your passing, they could end up in a shelter or with a new owner who may not understand their unique needs. 

By taking the time to carefully select a pet guardian, leave detailed instructions, and work with a guardianship attorney to create a pet trust, you can ensure that your beloved companion continues to receive the love, care, and attention they deserve.


Safeguarding your pet’s future is a testament to the love and dedication you have for them. The measures discussed earlier protect your pet and offer you peace of mind knowing that your furry friend will be in good hands.

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