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Protecting our pets after we are gone

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

How can we make sure that our beloved pets are protected in the event of their owners passing or illness? It is hard to think that they would be sent to a shelter and possibly even face extermination.  Their are some things that we could do to prepare. Select a friend or family member to care for the pet. You can even put this information in your last Will and Testament. You can also establish a trust fund for your pets.  As many as 25 percent of families with pets have provided for them through wills or trusts according to  Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.  Pet trusts enable owners to leave money earmarked for the care of their animals, and specify how they want pets to be treated. In comparison, wills are used for disbursing assets, but instructions about treatment are not enforceable. A trust is a way to ensure that your pet will be cared for.  But before naming friends or loved ones as trustees for your pet and funds, make sure they’re ready and willing to take on this responsibility.

Expect to spend at least $1,500 to $2,000 to establish a trust, which requires the skills of a professional, according to Kim Bressant-Kibwe, trusts and estates counsel with American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

If you don’t want to spend the cash or time on a trust, try setting up a bank account with someone whom you trust to care for your animal.

Remember, your pets count!



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