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How Can I Include My Cat In My Will?

Question:

What should I do to create a good plan for my cat in my will?

Answer:

Your pets should always have a godmother or godfather. So find someone whom you trust to care for your pets after you’ve passed or who will commit themselves to finding a suitable home for all of your companion animals after you pass. None of us wants our beloved cats (dogs, birds, turtles etc.) to end up alone and afraid in a high-kill shelter. Nobody wants that to happen to any animal, but sadly it does–all too often.

If you want to take it further:

38 states have pet trusts statutes, and if you’re in one of these states, you can create a pet trust for the care of your pet. The pet trust can be part of the will or in a separate trust document. If your state is one that doesn’t have a pet trust statute, you can still have a good plan for your pet. For example, you could leave funds directly to the person who will care for your pet or pets after you pass in your will as a bequest.

It’s also a good idea to list back-up people to care for your pets in your will in case the first person named is somehow unable to take the animal when the time comes (medical issues, homelessness, financial issues, change in family status, and so on). The most important thing is to take the first step and develop a good plan for continued care of your pets by doing online research and talking to a lawyer.

Lawyers aren’t always expensive. You need to find the right person to help you create the proper, legal and binding documents, to ensure your pets safety and well-being after you pass.

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