How to Provide for Your Pet if They Outlive You

When it comes to estate planning, not many people in Colorado give much thought about what will happen to their pets when they die. Many of them assume that they will outlive their pets so there is no need for them to plan for their care. As uncomfortable as it may be for them to think of life without their pets, it can be even more unbearable for them to think of the life their pets may live when after they are gone.

Pet owners who want to ensure that their pets are cared for according to their wishes should make provisions for them in their estate plans.

Choose a beneficiary

According to, owners can leave their pets to whomever they want because they are personal property. Sometimes leaving their pets to family members and friends may not be a feasible option because those individuals may not be in a position financially to take care of them.

Establish a pet trust

In situations where financial hardship may occur, pet owners can create pet trusts to include in their estate plans. The purpose is for owners to leave behind care instructions for their pets. These instructions do not have to include every single detail about the care their pets are to receive. But if there are concerns about the quality of care they may receive, testators have the right to be as specific as they want in their instructions.

Pet owners also have the option of creating common law trusts for their pets, states This type of trust allows them to designate caregivers who will receive payments from their trustees to cover their expenses. Pet owners who do not choose beneficiaries for their pets risk their pets ending up in shelters. To avoid this complication, they should specify in detail how much money they are leaving behind for the care of their pets.

People who want to ensure that their companions live with good caretakers should provide instructions for their care in their estate plans sooner than later.