When you are leaving inheritances to your adult children you usually have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they are capable of handling their own affairs once you are gone. However, it is an entirely different story when it comes to your four-legged family members.
It is easy to overlook your dog or cat when you are planning your estate because their lifespans are limited and people generally outlive their pets. Yet, studies show that pet ownership is extremely beneficial to senior citizens on a number of different levels. A dog or cat can provide companionship and protection, and it is a good feeling to have a loving friend who genuinely needs you at a time in your life when you may benefit from a renewed sense of usefulness.
When it comes to pet planning it is probably safe to say that the most important thing is to find a willing and capable caretaker for your pet. You may be fortunate enough to have a friend or family member who has already spent considerable time with your dog or cat who has expressed a willingness to take over should the need arise.
But if the ideal caretaker is not clearly evident to you when you begin planning in earnest you can simply take stock of those with whom you are acquainted and present the proposition to the person who appears to be the best fit.
As for the matter of providing for the pet financially you can simply leave a bequest to the caretaker that is sufficient to pay for the expenses that he or she will incur during the life of the pet. In the state of New York one may also create a pet trust, and this may be a better option for some people. To handle these legalities and obtain more detailed advice simply arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney and do what it takes to make sure that your pets are provided for come what may.