Friday, 3 May 2013

Estate Planning for Pets

Kind of a grim subject, and one that no-one ever really wants to think about, but I'm curious, have you made arrangements for your pets in case of your passing?  Working in a law firm, we do lots of estate planning for clients.  People make arrangements for their children, their homes, who they want to get their jewellery, sometimes right down to who gets what tea-cup and saucer, but rarely do I see anyone make arrangements for the care of their "pets" in the event of their death.

I've been giving it some thought lately (not because of any specific reason, mind you), just because I think its important to be able to do it now before it becomes something that "should have" been done.  No matter how much we treat our dogs (or cats, rabbits, guinea pigs or whatever) as part of the family, when it comes down to it, they are still considered property.  You can't open a bank account and give them access...although here sometimes it feels like they have direct withdrawal privileges too and you can't transfer the deed to your house to three hounds.

So the decision comes down to who will have "guardianship"?  Can you set up a trust in the guardian's name specifically for the lifetime care of the animals?  Do we really have to give them back to an adoption group for re-homing without any input in to where they go and if they stay together?  Its all a little daunting to think about, but I know I will sleep better once its done and be able to put it out of my mind.  Anyone have any ideas on the subject?

Beckett:  Sheesh Mum, that's about the most boring blog post I've ever read.  I can't even bother looking at it with two eyes...but I will salute you for worrying about us so much! 


  1. You are right, who wants to think about it? Mum hasn't made arrangements for me and she knows that really she should, not that there are any family members who would be able to have me :-( Here in the UK, the RSPCA have a scheme whereby you can register your pet for free and if you die they will take them in and look to rehome them. Not ideal but better than nothing. Maybe Mum should make her own Will while she is at it. Sheesh! Deccy x

  2. Important topic, but even better, cutest picture ever!

  3. We have talked about this and made arrangements (although not "legal" arrangements). We have asked friends of ours to take our pets if anything happens to us and we will take theirs if anything happens to them. We've let our family know our wishes. Our friends are not required to keep our, but we trust our friends best to re-home them and make a good match. I also feel fortunate that our Greyhound group is 100% on taking back any and all Greyhounds that need a home. That's Plan B. An important topics, for sure.

  4. I've kind of got my head buried in the sand on this one. One of the drawbacks to being single is that there is only me and I don't have family here so the dogs are a worry. Beryl would go back into GAP but Frankie I just don't know. Hopefully I will outlive both of them and I will only have Greyhounds from now on so the worry will be less. Yes, it's a very important topic. Beckett looks like he doesn't want to think about it either.

  5. This is a really important topic. I am single and basically have no family, and mostly non dog friends, so I will make arrangements for them to go back to Greyhound adoption.

    Mostly, I agree with Beckett, but maybe one eye is still too much!