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Don't forget Fido when planning your estate

Just like parents who wouldn't want anyone taking care of their children after they're gone, you probably have some specific people in mind to take care of your pets in the event of your death. To make sure your animals end up in the right hands after you're gone, you can incorporate your dogs, cats and other animals into your will.

The simplest way is to name a beneficiary who will receive your pet after you're gone. Since the law views your animals as 'property,' it's easy enough to bequeath your animals to a specific person. In addition to leaving this person your pet, you might also want to leave some money to this person, so he or she can use it to provide the highest quality food and best veterinary care to your animal.

If you want to make your pet arrangements even more formal, you can create a pet trust. Your pet trust will indicate who will receive and care for your pet, and it will also contain money to be used for your animal's care. By naming the pet's caretaker as the financial beneficiary and trustee of the money you've left your animal, you can include specific instructions that indicate exactly how the money you've left for your pet should be spent. You could also name another person as trustee, and this individual will be responsible for ensuring that your money is spent in the right way by the person charged with caring for your dog or cat.

Are you concerned about what will happen to your pet after you're gone? There are a lot of options available for estate planners to ensure that their furry little loved one's are well-taken care of long after they are gone.

Source: Bravo TV, "Don't Leave Pets Out of Estate Planning," Kristyn Pomranz, accessed April 18, 2018

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