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Puppy Love: Who will take care of your pets when you are no longer around?

estate planning Mar 13, 2019

Our office is seeing more and more people who are worried about not only what happens to their children when they die, but also who will be taking care of their beloved pets. 

Our lawyers recently met with a vibrant middle-aged client who had a beloved pet Cockatoo named Tootsie. Our client wanted to make sure that Tootsie went to a good home after she died and needed to make sure that the person who took care of her liked birds. She had asked her friends, but given there ages, they were worried about agreeing to take care of Tootsie. You see, Tootsie had a projected lifespan of almost 40 years, and many of our client's friends may not be around to make sure she had a home.

In that case, we found a local bird trainer who agreed to take care of Tootsie if and when our client flew off to the great blue yonder! To ease the cost burden on the bird trainer, we left her $5000.00 in the will to be used for the care of Tootsie. 

In addition to the legacy, we made sure that all the essential information on Tootsie was kept with the will and we recommend that pet owners should keep the following with their will and estate planning documents  to aid the transition of the pet after they are gone:

  • The name and breed of the animal
  • Age of the animal
  • the list of vaccinations the pet has had
  • The animals favourite toys or favourite food 
  • The brand of food and treats the animal typically eats
  • Animal care and service providers such as the veterinarian or dog groomer
  • Any allergies that the pet may have
  • The name of the friend or family member who can help take care of the animal in an emergency

When an emergency occurs, your family may not know what to do with your pet, especially if it is a rare breed of animal. Taking the time to accumulate this information is a legacy your representative or executor, will be thankful for/ four - and make it less ruff on your pet!

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