Family members do not arrive only in the form of humans. Many people in today’s society view their pets as another family member who they form lifelong companionships with. But have you ever asked yourself what would happen to your feline friend if you were to pass away unexpectedly due to something such as wrongful death or become incapacitated and cannot express your wishes? That is where estate planning comes in handy, because through this tool you can protect your cat’s future if you depart before they do.
For most people, having a plan set in stone for what happens to their loved ones after they die offers profound peace of mind, in which they can go about their life with less worry. As an estate planning lawyer explains, the majority of states across the nation have adopted animal trust laws, which means you can create a pet trust for your feline, canine, or other pet species.
When writing a comprehensive estate plan that involves your cat, you have to think about their immediate needs and long-term care. Assess what your pet’s ideal lifestyle is now and how much it would cost for someone else to continue that. If you have questions or concerns when writing your estate plan, you can find help through visiting a law firm, similar to the team at Law Group of Iowa. During your appointment, you may discuss:
- Your pet’s current age and anticipated lifespan
- The type of animal you have and species-specific needs
- The costs associated with feeding and comfort
- Emergency expenses for medical care, medication, surgery, etc.
- The guardian you have chosen and if they are okay with this role
- A second guardian just in case the first is unable to fulfill it
Another way to provide for your cat’s needs if you pass away before them is to choose a guardian in your last will and testament. A will can express all kinds of wishes, but among them you can appoint a guardian for minor children and pets. But you may prefer to take your protections a step further and set aside money for your pet too, which would be transferred to your chosen guardian if the situation arises. This helps support the guardian so they are not as financially burdened and can afford to care for your pet as well as you did.
Keep in mind that the exact rules and regulations regarding pet trusts and wills are going to vary based on state law. For this reason, it’s wise to consider how the state laws for where you live may impact your estate plan documents. Once you have settled future arrangements for the care of your cat, or other furry family member, you are likely to have more peace of mind knowing that if something were to happen to you, they are going to be okay. If you are a pet owner and want to secure the care of your animal loved one, then now is the time to get started.