Planning for the Care of Your Pet

It is common for us to plan for the future.  We buy insurance policies, create estate trusts, write a will, and put our personal and business affairs in order.  In all of this we are leaving written instructions about what is to be done with our property if we are incapacitated or worse.

 

Isn’t it odd in a way that most of us forget to take the same approach to advance planning for the animals we love and who rely on us?  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Step 1: The Pet Dossier

The first step in preparing and planning for your pets is an easy one.  Create a “Pet Dossier” for each pet that includes all of the information that someone might need to get you pet immediate care and attention should you become unable to do so.  This document should include things like basic care instructions and the name and contact information of your regular veterinarian, among other things.

 

Keep this with your papers at home, but also give a copy to at least two close friends or family members and ask them to remember these instructions if you are traveling, become ill, or are unable to care for you pet for any reason.

 

We have prepared a sample Pet Dossier that you can print out and use for each pet, or you can create your own.

 

Step 2: Create a Pet Trust

In a worst-case scenario, a pet’s owner or caretaker becomes permanently disabled or passes.  Planning properly now, responsible pet owners can ensure that their pets not only are cared for by a person of their choosing, but it is also possible to allocate funds for the continuing care of that pet as well.

 

This can be handled with a simple document or by having your attorney prepare an addendum to a will or trust that you might already have in place.  If you want to do it for yourself, the online service LegalZoom has a series of Pet Protection documents* that can be conveniently prepared in just a few minutes.

 

Other services and options may be available.

*Important Disclaimer: Briard Rescue Trust (BRT) creates content and also curates content created by others.  All content and resources created by us–including this website–are the property and copyright of BRT.  However, all content and resources created by others are the property and copyright of the respective owners, even if the BRT is hosting, referencing, or linking to that content on our website.  This is called “third-party content” and BRT references and / or displays it under “fair use” for non-profit and educational purposes.  BRT displays all content as a free service “as is” and BRT is not responsible for the accuracy of any content or its applicability to any situation or set of circumstances.  We always recommend that users and visitors perform their own due diligence by consulting with additional resources, a professional veterinarian, and / or other certified animal care professional before making an informed decision or implementing any instruction or procedure.