Does your pet need a burial plan too?

If your estate plan does not include your pets, it might not be a complete estate plan. You may choose who should inherit your pet, and that inheritance can include burial plans. Without an outlined burial plan, the person who inherits your pet may decide something with which you would disagree.

Won’t a pet trust cover everything?

Estate plans (specifically, trusts) for pets can cover many, many things. They are an essential tool for any pet owner, especially for those with exotic pets or those with special needs. They typically cover, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Person who will inherit your pet
  • Medical history and other pet health information
  • The name and quality of veterinary care (“spare-no-expense” or an account limit)
  • Brand and quality of food and treats

Many people do not think about their pet’s end-of-life or burial plans when they make a pet trust. Often, they trust the beneficiary to make a wise decision “when the time comes.” However, if you make a detailed plan and include this in your trust, they can know without a doubt that they are acting in the way you wanted.

What instructions should I leave?

People’s and pet’s burial plans are not very different in New York. If you have strong feelings about your pet’s final days, a trust is the perfect place to leave instructions. When included in your estate plan, pet trusts are legally enforceable and included in the fiduciary duties of the executor.

  • Would you like your pet to receive hospice care from a specific animal hospital or clinic?
  • Would you like for a vet to perform an at-home, peaceful euthanasia?
  • Would you like for a loved one to be present at the end?
  • Would you like your pet to be cremated by fire or water? Buried?
  • Where would you like to bury or scatter your pet’s remains?

Pets rely on you to provide food, shelter and care. Your beneficiaries rely on you to help them understand your final wishes. A pet trust is the perfect way to show all your loved ones you care.

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