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How do you include pets in your will?

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2020 | Estate Planning | 0 comments

Creating a will allows you to divide your assets among your heirs and arrange for appropriate guardians for your minor children. However, you may also use your will to make provisions for your pets. By following Florida’s estate planning laws and setting up a trust fund, you may ensure your pets get proper care after your death. 

While you may consider your pets part of the family, the law generally views animals as property: valuable assets that you may disburse to your heirs. This means that if you want your child to be the guardian of your pet after your death, you may do so by including the pet as part of your child’s inheritance. It is important to make sure your intended guardian has the desire and resources to look after your pet in the manner you desire. 

Food, medicine, and veterinary care all cost money, so you may want to leave funds to cover the care of your pet. However, state laws generally do not allow you to name your pet as the recipient of the funds. You may allocate funds to the pet’s guardian, but as Forbes points out, there is no way to guarantee that the guardian will use that money for pet care. Creating a pet trust may help you ensure that the guardian properly uses the money you set aside for your pet’s care. 

When you create a pet trust, it is important to make sure it has adequate funds for your pet’s care for many years. You may also want to include instructions for any funds that remain after your pet passes away, such as disbursing the leftover money to your heirs or a charity.