I grew up in a St. Louis County with about 17 pets. I’ve always loved animals and have almost always had a dog. About 8 years ago, I adopted a second dog, Brooke. She’s a beautiful, intelligent, high energy cattle dog mix. Brooke also is what I refer to as my special needs puppy. She has extreme anxiety which causes her to attack other dogs. Now, this is a major problem when you have two dogs. So when Brooke is around our other dog, Morgan, she has to wear a muzzle. She’s also on Zoloft.
So, you may be wondering why I’m writing about a dog in my estate planning blog. Because of Brooke’s needs she cannot be kept with other dogs. And if something happened to my husband and I, while our son is the main beneficiary of our trust, we wanted to make sure Brooke would be taken care of.
Now, some are extremely skeptical of making provisions for pets in a plan, but when you have needy pets or your pets are that important to you, it can be an important part of a plan. Now there are multiple options (trusts, gifts, etc.), but I think the important aspect of planning for a pet, is just to consider your pet and if it’s appropriate to include them as part of your plan. Does your pet have a place to live? Do they have extra needs or expenses you would want to make sure were provided? If so, you might want to make sure you have a plan in place for your pet.
It doesn’t have to be your whole estate, and it certainly does not need to be a large amount of money, but some pets do need a plan.