Estate Planning for Non-Human Family Members
Beyer, Gerry W.
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Pets are an important part of people’s lives and are often also considered part of their owners’ families. Pet owners commonly intend to provide for the care of their pets after the owners’ death and will include their pets in their estate plans. The primary goal of the pet owner’s attorney is to carry out the pet owner’s intent to the fullest extent allowed under applicable law. Accordingly, the attorney should select a method which has the highest likelihood of working successfully to provide for the pet after its death. After discussing the history of providing for a pet after the owner’s death, this article discusses the variety of techniques currently available and comments on the advisability of each.