Funeral Pre-Planning for the Care of Your Pet

By: Anderson Funeral Home
Friday, September 30, 2016

Funeral Pre-Planning for the Care of Your Pet

For many people, a favorite pet is just as important as a family member as the people are. But when you die, what happens to your pet after the funeral? Some people take the time to create a will that will outline the details of their estate after their passing, but even these funeral pre-planning arrangements often do not consider the care of pets that are left behind.

Some sources say that as many as half a million pets each year end up in shelters across the country when their owners pass away. Following a few simple steps can help to ensure that your pets do not fall into these numbers.

Decide who will take care of your pets after you are gone. It can be a relative, a neighbor, or a friend, but be sure to talk to them first and confirm that they are willing to take your pets. You want to find someone that enjoys and gets along with the pets, and most of all someone that wants them.

Write out a care list for your pets. Include the food that they prefer to eat and the contact information for the veterinarian that cares for them locally. List any special considerations or other information that a caregiver would need. Be sure that you review the information once a year and update the information with any major issues or concerns.

Set up a care fund. Some life insurance policies allow for a special fund for the care of your pets, naming a specific caregiver as the trustee. Talk with an insurance agent about arranging a policy to establish the fund. This will help take the financial burden off the caregiver and will ensure that your pets are cared for according to your wishes.

Make it official. Put your plan into writing and have the caregiver sign the forms. You will also want to add the pet information to your will so that there are no questions about how the full estate is to be disbursed. Talk with your estate lawyer about the best way to add the pet information to the will.

Consider setting up temporary caregivers to watch the pets until the permanent arrangements can be worked out. An unexpected death could leave family members struggling to work out all the details initially.

Your pets are your companions and your friends, so keep them in mind as you pre-plan your funeral. It will give you a sense of comfort and will provide important information to family members at the appropriate time.

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