Hollywood may have contributed to the erroneous belief that you can leave your inheritance to your beloved cat or dog if you have no other heirs. However, real life is not as simple for our furry friends. You may consider your pets to be members of your family, but the law does not see it that way. Fortunately, at the Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez, P.L., we know how you and other Florida pet owners can include pets in your estate planning and make sure their needs are taken care of if they outlive you.
We have brought up the topic of pet trusts previously in this blog. As you know, you can designate someone to take over as caregiver to your animals. Pet trusts can be as customized as you need, points out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. You might consider adding the following points to your pet trust, which could ensure your pet's emotional as well as physical well-being:
- The walking or playtime schedules your dog enjoys, as well as his favorite toys and treats
- Instructions on how to cook homemade cat or dog food with fresh ingredients
- Your wishes on how to care for your pet when he or she reaches old age, as well as compassionate euthanasia preferences
- Not only your first choice as your pet's caregiver, but a second and third choice if the first choice is unwilling or unable to take on the responsibility
- A monetary reward for caring for your pets, which you may want to keep a "surprise" until the caregiver agrees, to ensure nobody is solely driven by the prospect of a financial reward
These options are only a few that you may consider when setting up a trust for your beloved animals. Our page explains more about your different estate planning options.