What happens to your pets when you are gone?


What happens when you are gone? Don’t forget about your animal family. Legally, pets are classified as property. But to us, their owners, they are much more.

Legal ways you can deal with this issue is setting up pet trust or guardianship. Another way is to set up a bank account or an investment situation where a lump sum of money could be kept, or set up the beneficiary to be the 501(c)3 animal rescue. In that way, the money in the account is accessible to you, but will go to the charity of your choice upon your death.

Another way to deal with your animal’s future is to write an “Animal Love Letter” to your family.

Attach it to your will. Keep it in a fireproof box with the key in, so no one will steal it. In the letter, outline your wishes for how your animals could be cared for. List names of friends and organizations.

For example:

  • This animal belongs to True Blue Animal Rescue and I am only fostering it.
  • My BFF might take our older dog and add it to his/her family.
  • My Agility dog should go to a home where it can continue competing, here is a list of people who might be able to find him a home.
  • I want my horses to find a home through a reputable 501C3 Animal Rescue. Most rescues have a Donation Contract with a surrender fee to help pay for the care of the animal.
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