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Estate Planning for Pets

Estate planning used to focus almost exclusively on making sure that loved ones received inheritances. Today, it is increasingly including planning for pets.

One hundred years ago, it would have been considered extremely odd if someone left detailed estate plans for their pets. A will might have mentioned who should be given a beloved animal. However, it was not common to leave aside money for the pets or to leave detailed instructions for their care.

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As a result, they are planning for those pets more carefully than ever before.

The Wall Street Journal recently offered some tips about how to go about that planning in "Estate Plans Don't Have to Be Just For People," including:

· Think about who should be the caregiver for your pets and make sure your choice is willing to serve in that role.

· Figure out how much money your pets might need to maintain their lifestyle and set aside that money for them.

· Think about everything that needs to be done to properly care for your pets and make sure you have it all written down, so the caregiver will know what to do.

· Be sure to visit an estate planning attorney so you can formalize your plans. The attorney will help you decide the best legal instrument to make sure your plans will be carried out. In addition, the attorney will draft those documents so a court will accept them as valid.

Reference: Wall Street Journal (Nov. 5, 2017) "Estate Plans Don't Have to Be Just For People."

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