Pets are now being incorporated into their owners’ wills and estates.
It is usually recommended for someone to prepare their will by the time they reach 40, and more and more pet owners are adding a specific clause into their will to protect their furry friends.
For many Americans, their pets are much like family. Beverley Passetti considers her three pets, Lennon, Toby, and Shylo, to be her children, and does her best to take care of all their needs. She has even gone so far as to protect her four-legged companions legally, in case something happens to her and they are left alone.
Passetti is just one of the growing numbers of Americans who are going the legal route to secure their pet’s future. These people believe that in case they die, their dogs should enjoy the same standard of living they’ve been used to their entire life. Lucky for them, Pet Will is able to help.
Pet Will is a brand new website that specializes in creating a living will and an estate plan for an animal in the chance of their owner’s death. All the owner has to do is upload a picture, fill out the animal’s dietary and medical information, and then their pet’s profile is created. The goal is to have benefactors donate to a pet by viewing their profile to ensure they are treated properly with their new owners. The living wills are legal and binding in all 50 states.
Any and all animals can be registered on Pet Will; in Passetti’s case, she registered her cat, dog, and turtle.
Pet Will’s website gives a whole new vibe to estate planning and wills — just a few years ago, planning for a pet’s care once the owner died was only for the rich and famous. But now, pet planning is easily accessible and most lawyers offer this service, giving caring owners peace of mind that their beloved pets will be in good hands in case the worse happens.
Attorney Jane K. Penhaligen, who offers pet planning and wills, explains to Mercury News, that pet planning is of utmost importance simply because pets cannot advocate for their own needs.
“Estate planning for pets is for anyone, regardless of their income,” Penhaligen explains. “You wouldn’t want to leave your children without a guardianship. While your children grow up to become adults, pets will always need guardians.”