Pet Care after Your Passing

July 7, 2016

 

What to Do if You Predecease Your Pet

By Langley Cornwell

An older friend of mine recently had a foster fail. She agreed to foster two kittens with no expectation of keeping them but as you can imagine, she simply fell in love. Her hesitation for adopting the kittens was her age; she feared that these sweet kittens would outlive her. This lady is a smart cookie though, and because she couldn’t bear the thought of giving them up, she made a solid plan for the care of these cats in the event that she predeceases them.

As she researched the best ways to ensure that her cats continued to receive the proper love and care if this happened, she shared with me what she learned. Here is how my friend recommends organizing things. Taking these steps has given her tremendous peace of mind.

Find a Temporary Home

Even if you have assigned a permanent caregiver, it’s important to have some place for your pet to stay right away. Your permanent caregiver may not be able to take the pet right away, so it’s a good idea to have someplace for him to go while the permanent caregiver gets things ready. It’s best if your pet knows the person and is comfortable with them. Remember that your pet is going to struggle with losing you on top of all of the changes that are going to happen. If at all possible, it is even better if the caregiver can stay in your home and maintain the same routines while the pet waits for his permanent move.

Get Written Confirmation

If you have a will, you can attach a written confirmation of your pet’s placement to your will. Ask the person who will be taking your pet to sign the confirmation so you know they are serious. With this document attached to your will, loved ones will understand your wishes and know that you took the necessary steps to ensure your pets were well taken care of after you’re gone.

When you are choosing the place for your pet to go, think of the pet’s best interest rather than the person. Some people may see your pet as a means by which to deal with your death or hang on to you for a bit longer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best person to care for your pet. It may be a good idea to make a note that this person can visit your pet, but put your trust in someone who will tend to your pet’s needs in the same manner you would.

Create a Trust

For some people, caring for a pet can be a financial burden that they can’t manage. When that happens, sadly, many pets end up in shelters. You can plan ahead for your pet’s financial needs by creating a trust. A trust is better than a lump sum of money because you can designate how much money is given out on what basis, and also create stipulations to get the money. For instance, you might just have a check sent to the person every month, or you might require that vet bills and other receipts are presented in order to get the money. This prevents your money from going to things other than meeting the needs of your pet.

Provide All Necessary Information

Does your pet have allergies? Are there any medications your pet requires on a regular basis? Which flavors of CANIDAE pet food do they like best? Maybe there are even food ingredients that your pet cannot tolerate or other medical issues. Write down as many details about your pet that you can think of. Whoever takes care of your pet after you pass needs to have this information, in writing, in order to properly tend to the needs of your pet. It is going to be difficult enough for your pet to make this transition without having to deal with a lack of attention, awareness and treatments.

Keep in mind that the specifics of the pet’s schedule and other small details may change after your death, but you can rest easy knowing that your pet can still thrive if you have a solid plan in place.

Read more articles by Langley Cornwell

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Comments

  1. Josie says:

    You make it sound much easier than it is. My friends are my age and reluctant to take on a pet or another pet if they have one. Even money would not be an issue for me to accept this responsibility at my age.
    My kids are all petless and very uninterested In taking on my old dog.
    I wish there was an easier answer!

  2. Mary widener says:

    I am facing this situation and do not know where to start a lady here toke a dog and $5,000dollars than gave the little dog away and kept the money. Where would someone set up such an account?”