When most people think of family and estate planning, their thoughts immediately turn to their loved ones: children, spouses, siblings and parents. But what about our four-legged loved ones? Those beautiful souls who bring so much light, love and joy into our lives. The companions that are always by our side (no matter how foul our mood) and who instantly lower our blood pressure (its scientifically proven) with a loving purr or wag of the tail. Unfortunately, many pet owners leave their beloved animals out of their family and estate planning due to a lack of knowledge and information. HALO has a solution for that. Below is a simple guide on how to make sure that your fur-babies are taken care of in the event of an emergency, disability or death.
- Pick your people. Carefully select two responsible caregivers who you know and trust implicitly to care for your companion animals in the event of an emergency or disability. Your “people” should have a fair knowledge already of your pets and have met them previously.
- Write it down. Create a detailed plan with instructions on your animal’s care, feeding and exercise needs. This list should include feeding times, brand/type of food, any medications and if they have any behavioral or social issues. It should also include their veterinarian’s contact information, microchip number and a photo of the pet. Your “people” need a copy of this information at all times and it should be updated annually to include any changes.
- Safety first. PLEASE place an “In Case of Emergency” sticker on the windows/doors of your home so that first responders are aware of how many and what type of animals live in your home. It is also a good idea to keep a “Pet Alert” card in your wallet.
Estate Planning. What most pet owners do not realize is that you can leave funds and instructions for your animal’s care in your Will or Trust. Once you explain your wishes and goals to your attorney, they can advise you on your state’s laws and the best ways to protect your pets and insure their future.
HALO’s Lifetime Care Program. In the event you do not have family and friends close by who would be able to care for your pets, HALO offers a Lifetime Care Program which arranges care for your fur-baby and tries to find a new home for them. Please contact HALO at (772) 589-7297 or [email protected] if you would like to enroll your pet in the Lifetime Care Program.
HALO’s Pledge: ANY animal adopted from HALO No Kill Rescue will be taken in immediately in the event their owner becomes unable to provide for them any longer. We will ensure that they are cared for and most importantly, try to find a new home for them as soon as possible.
Family and estate planning discussions and decisions are never easy and usually require a lot of forethought but we owe it to our best friends to make sure they are taken care of in the best way possible in the event we are unable to do so.
Your pets are your family…so why wouldn’t you include them in your family planning?