Millions of homeless animals end up in shelters annually and are euthanized, especially if they are older pets or if they have any type of medical needs. The pet overpopulation problem could leave your animal vulnerable if something happens to you and you can no longer care for a beloved companion animal. Pets are also very expensive, and your pet could be left without adequate care if you are not there to provide for your animal’s needs, even if a friend or a relative takes your animal in.
As a pet owner, it is up to you to make plans to protect your animal. There are no safeguards in place to ensure a pet gets a guardian when an owner dies, unlike when parents die with minor children. Your pet is wholly dependent upon you to make sure someone takes care of them if you cannot do it any longer, and Thompson Law, Prof. L.L.C. can help give you the tools you need to ensure that your animal is provided for. Give us a call to find out about pet planning and to get answers to questions including:
- When should you make a pet plan?
- How can you protect your pets if you get sick or pass away?
- What can a Sioux Falls, SD pet planning lawyer do to help you?
When Should You Make a Pet Plan?
You should make a pet plan as soon as you take on the responsibility of caring for a pet. Most pet owners want to be their animal’s forever home, which means you want your pet to live safely with you for the rest of his or her life. Unfortunately, you cannot control your own future, so you never know if you will be able to be there for your pet’s whole life. If you cannot, you owe it to your animal to make sure someone will.
You can never assume that your close family, like your spouse, will be able to take on the responsibility of caring for your pet if you are no longer able. You and your loved ones could be involved in a tragic accident together, leaving no immediate family to care for your pet.
While it is upsetting to think about, it is important to plan for the worst because pets are not afforded with many protections in the legal system. If you want your pets to be protected, you have to create those protections for your animal.. and you should do it today. Thompson Law, Prof. L.L.C. helps you make a stand alone plan for your pets, or a plan as part of your larger estate plan.
How Can You Protect Your Pets In Case Of Illness or Death?
You should make certain that you have someone to care for your pet over the short-term and long-term if something happens and you cannot be there for your animal. This starts with putting a card in your wallet telling first responders to call a caretaker for your pets if you get into an accident and your animals are home alone.
You also need to make plans for a guardian to care for your pets if you cannot, and you should think about providing some financial support since the care of an animal is expensive.
Always talk to the person who you are hoping to entrust with your pet’s care to make certain they are willing and able, and be sure to leave formal written instructions as part of your pet planning process so it is clear who you have chosen as your pet’s new guardian. Think about naming a backup caregiver as well, in case something unforeseen happens.
When it comes to providing financially for your pet, you also have a choice to make. You could just provide a provision in your will, but since an animal cannot inherit or manage money, you’d be relying on humans to follow your instructions. If you want to ensure your money is used for intended purposes, you can create a trust and name a trustee who will be legally obligated to use the money for purposes set forth in your trust document.
How Can a Sioux Falls, SD Pet Planning Lawyer Help?
Thompson Law, Prof. L.L.C. can assist you with the creation of a pet plan so your animals are provided for and cared for in a safe home if you experience an unexpected accident or illness and can no longer provide a home for your animals. Give us a call at 605-362-9100 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which a Sioux Falls pet planning lawyer can help you.