March 2019 – Pets…they are cute, cuddly and love us unconditionally. They bring so much joy to our lives and are like family to us. It’s sad to think of our pets without us, but with the right planning, we can make sure they are taken care of should an emergency arise. According to the law, pets are treated like property—not as entities that can own property. Because of this distinction, an owner cannot gift money or assets to a pet so it is important to address how your pet will be cared for if you suddenly go to the hospital or predecease your pet.
Informal agreements with friends or family can quickly dissolve if their living arrangements don’t allow for a pet or someone in their house is allergic to the animal. To protect your pets, you should have an emergency plan in place; if you are unable to return home, someone with access to your home can be notified to care for your pets until you are able to return or until permanent arrangements can be made. May is National Pet Month so maybe your goal is to get this addressed before then in honor of your pet(s).
Important Information You Need To Compile:
- Pet Name
- Birthday (Can be an estimate if you’re not sure)
- Veterinarian Contact Info
- Health & Diet Needs/Requirements
- Favorite Activities/Toys/Treats
- Pet Insurance Info (If applicable)
- Pet Guardian Contact Information
- Instructions (example: How should this person gain access to your house and bring your pet to their new life?)
- Other Pertinent Info (example: Microchip info, Grooming tips, etc…)
Here are a few free resources to help with your planning:
- Arrangements for your Pets: By Charlotte Fox Author of And Then There Was One
- Worksheet: Make Sure Your Pets Are Taken Care Of by Everplans
Marie Burns is a Certified Financial Planner™, Speaker and Author of the bestselling Financial Checklist books.