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Examiner
  • Be sure to take care of your animal family

  • I work for a financial planning group. We help people plan for their retirement and their death. Most people want to be sure their families are taken care of after they are gone. My question is how many people plan for their pets. What happens to one's pets after one passes?

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  • I work for a financial planning group. We help people plan for their retirement and their death. Most people want to be sure their families are taken care of after they are gone. My question is how many people plan for their pets. What happens to one's pets after one passes?
    When I helped ABF with Adopt a Pet years ago I saw firsthand what happens to many of these pets. While walking through the old Independence Animal Shelter I saw many cage cards that read “owner died, relatives did not want the dog.” The looks on these dog's faces tore at my heart! They didn't understand why they were there and didn't know what was going to happen to them. Unfortunately many of these poor babies ended up being euthanized because most people looking for a pet wanted a puppy.
    I did some research on what could be done and discovered that anyone can draw up a “Pet Trust.” Once I found out that our state allowed pet trusts I contacted my attorney. Anyone can do this! All one needs is a trustworthy individual(s) who will take on the duty of being the trustee and some funds to support the trust. One can write their own trust stating whatever terms one wishes.
    Fortunately, now there is a bit more awareness of the plight of aging unwanted animals.
    Animals Best Friends has taken in several animals because their owner died or went to a nursing home. Butterscotch, Moeshe, and Leo are great cats who lost their owners and had no place to go.
    Pretty Boy, Bella, Joey and Gia are sweet, wonderful dogs that also lost their owners. All these animals need is a chance for a real loving home. Most are usually house trained and very well mannered!
    Due to limitations of space I can't go into many details. However, I can give you some resources. ASPCA has some good information at www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/pet-trust-primer.aspx. Petfinder also has pet trust information at www.petfinder.com/dogs/bringing-a-dog-home/pet-trust-primer. An article I wrote in 2011 on this same subject is still on the Internet at www.examiner.net/lifestyle/pets/x2108625029/Gamble-Setting-up-a-pet-trust.
    Please think of your pets when you are setting up your wills or trusts! They are family too and do not deserve to be left behind!
     
     

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