You have to consider the finer details when you are planning your estate, and this certainly applies to people who own a dog.
There are few things more rewarding than pet ownership. This is especially true for senior citizens because pets can cure many ills. Quite literally dog ownership can improve your health as you get more exercise, and the malaise of depression born of loneliness is often times lifted.
Of course a senior citizen who owns a dog will have to consider the possibility of predeceasing the animal. When you’re planning your estate as a dog owner the first order of business will be to find someone who would be willing to care for the pet after you pass away.
Some people will immediately know that they have a particular relative or friend that would absolutely step forward to care for the dog. Others may have to be proactive about asking around, but you should be able to find a suitable candidate.
Once you know who will be caring for the pet if it becomes necessary you have to make financial resources available to this caretaker. A possibility would be to give the caretaker a direct bequest. However, this may not be the best choice because it is hard to know exactly how much it will cost to provide for the pet’s needs throughout its life.
Another option would be to create a pet trust for the benefit of your dog. A trustee that you select will administer the funds, and a secondary beneficiary would assume ownership of any remainder that may exist after the pet passes.
The trustee does not have to be the caretaker, so you would have some oversight in place with regard to the care of the pet.