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Taking Care of Your Pets After You Are Gone

Keeping It Legal

If you have a will (and you should), consider making your wishes regarding your pets a formal part of it. Spell out exactly who the animals are going to and under what circumstances. If you don't specify in your will what should happen to your pets, by default, they become part of the property of your estate and will go to either your beneficiary or your next of kin. This may or may not be the person who you wanted the animals to go to.
 
If you are financially able to do it and your state allows it, you can create a trust for your pet, which means you are leaving money to help pay for the upkeep of your animal after you are gone. Even if the person you are leaving your animals to can afford to care for them, it's still an appreciated gesture. There is no guarantee that the money will actually go to your pet's care, but if this is something that you find worrisome, you could leave the animal to one person but the money for its upkeep to another person.
 
Make sure that whatever you decide to do that you consult a lawyer, who can help make sure the wording is correct and that the document is as legally binding as possible. In addition, keep the will or trust up to date. If your beloved pet dies before you do, for example, make sure that you change the will accordingly. Otherwise, the money you left behind will still go to the person who was going to take care of your animal -- only now there's no animal that needs care.
 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to all the myriad things you need to think about as part of dealing with cancer, your animals might have slipped your mind. Or maybe your first thought (and first concern) was what would happen to them after you are gone. Hopefully, this article has pointed you in the right direction and given you some clarity and steps to take in this matter.
 
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