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!