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Who will care for your pet if your pet outlives you?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2021 | Estate Planning

Peace of mind upon your death does not just apply to your relatives and loved ones, but to your pets as well. Pet owners love their furry, feathery and scaly companions and want to make sure they are cared for if the pet outlives them. Maryland, like all other states in the nation, allows people to provide provisions for the care of their pets in their estate plans. For some, this includes a power of attorney for your pet and a pet trust.

What is power of attorney for your pet?

Many people have a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney that will allow a specific person to act on their behalf should they become incapacitated. In addition, you can give a loved one revocable power of attorney to make decisions regarding the care of your pet should you become incapacitated. This power of attorney can be invoked in emergencies, whether they are health emergencies, natural disasters or even being stranded away from home. However, this power of attorney has limitations. If you want a more permanent option for the care of your pet, you may want to consider a pet trust.

What is a pet trust?

In a pet trust, you name your pet as the beneficiary of the trust. The trust is effective throughout the lifetime of the pet and when the pet dies any remaining funds will go to a second named individual. A pet trust can provide money to spend for the care for the pet. If you want to designate someone as trustee in your pet trust, you will want to discuss the situation with them so they can be prepared for the role or turn down the role if they are not able to fulfill it.

Learn more about trusts and estate planning

Pet owners love their animal companions who in turn provide them with unconditional love. Pet owners want to ensure their pet will be cared for if they are no longer around to care for their pet. Power of attorney for a pet and a pet trust are two ways to ensure your pet will be taken care of.

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