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Lessons in the Law October Report

October 14, 2021

Who’s Taking Care of the Dog?

You’re on the ball. You’ve got your will, your powers of attorney, and your living will in place. Everyone in your life has been provided for and your wishes have been made clear to those who are near and dear.

Did you forget something?

You’ve spent years providing for and loving your pet. You may have even thought to discuss its care with a close relative, should the unthinkable happen. But how can you be sure that what you want aligns with what will happen if you die?

I recall the story of a woman who had two dogs that she loved dearly. But while her pets were important to her when she was alive, her family didn’t think it was important to care for them after she died and elected to turn them over to a shelter. Because the woman had made a pet provision in her will, the executor stepped in to turn them over to the planned-for caregiver. Monies from her estate that were earmarked for the dogs’ care were then granted to the caregiver.

A lot of people assume that a family member will gladly care for their pets if they die, but that isn’t always the case. Money changes people, and pet care can be expensive.

There is a formula to determine how much money should be left to a caregiver to maintain the health and well-being of a pet. Your family might not like it, but nobody can challenge the provision once it’s in place.

People who don’t provide for their pets are more common than you think. The only way to be certain your beloved furry friends are taken care of after you’re gone is with a pet provision in your will today.

Atty. John J. Urban

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