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Have you included your pet in your estate plan?

Here is a matter that is often overlooked in estate planning: consideration of the family pet.

In fact, more and more Canadians are taking decisive steps to provide for four-legged family members, and why not? It may be obvious that you love your spouse and children, and you want to ensure that their needs are met. But you also love your pet, and your pet has needs, too.

By including your pet in your will, you can earmark a certain amount of money for his or her care. Even if you know that someone else will be able to care for your pet, it would undoubtedly be helpful for that person to have funds specifically available for the purpose.

An unfortunately common mistake in these matters is to assume that someone will automatically step in and take care of the pet. If you want to be certain that your furry companion will not end up on the street or in a shelter, you can include monetary support and clear instructions for care in your will.

It may be tempting to rely on an informal agreement with a friend or family member, but there is no guarantee that such an agreement will work out as planned. A legal document is a better choice.

If you would like to learn more about your estate planning options, please see Hagel Lawfirm's overview of wills and trusts.

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