Have you ever thought about what would happen to your furry family members if you suddenly passed? Would they be cared for by a friend or family member? Or, end up in a shelter or rescue? It’s a topic that many of us have never considered or resist thinking about too much for fear of the inevitable.
But, with Covid-19 spreading throughout our communities, it’s something more folks have started to consider. You are not alone in wanting to be sure that your pets will still be well-loved when you're gone! There are steps you can take now to ensure your pets’ continued care in the future.
You cannot leave money directly to your pet but there are several ways to make sure they will still be cared for. According to Nolo.com, these are your primary options.
This can be a tough decision for anyone, but you first need to decide if you want to keep your pets together or if you’re ok with separating them into different homes. It will likely take some extra planning to keep a bonded pair together, so this is an important discussion to have with potential caregivers.
You can consider people like your adult children, parents, siblings, friends, or even close neighbors or pet-sitter that have experience caring for pets and desire to care for yours. Ask yourself: would your fur kid/s be comfortable in their home? Will they get the attention and care they’re used to? It’s a good idea to have conversations about what your expectations of long-term care would be. This person (or persons) is someone you’ll want to stay in periodic touch with as well, as people’s life circumstances change from time to time.
There’s a lot of thought that can and should go into planning for your own afterlife. You can give yourself added peace of mind by making sure your furry family members are a part of that planning.
ASPCA - Pet Primer
Step-by-step primer on Pet Planning
O'Diam & Estess Law Group, Inc. - Planning for Your Pets
Discussion specific to Ohio law