Features April 2012 Issue

How to Set Up a Pet Trust to Ensure Your Dog is Cared For After You're Gone

When setting up a pet trust, it helps to work with an attorney who is familiar with what pets need. Estate planning attorney Heidi Goettel reviews pet trust details with author CJ Puotinen and Seamus, her husband’s Cairn Terrier.

How to Set Up a Pet Trust to Ensure Your Dog is Cared For After You're Gone

Planning for your dog’s care past your death is the ultimate in responsible ownership.

Because only one out of five Americans has an up-to-date will and only 20 percent of those include provisions for pets, an estimated 500,000 dogs and cats are euthanized every year when their owners die and they have nowhere to go. Is your dog at risk? Unless you make effective plans for your dog’s welfare in case you die or are incapacitated, the worst could happen. But preparing for your pet’s future can seem a daunting task. Wills, trusts, and financial instruments are complicated enough. Add caretakers, backup caretakers, specific instructions, and veterinary care. No wonder so many of us just hope we’ll outlive our pets.

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