Pets Are Family, Too
Whether you have a dog, cat, or potbellied pig, one thing is certain: Your pets are just as much a part of your family as any of the human members. As you document your final wishes, don’t forget to include them as well!
In the eyes of the law, animals are considered “property,” just like a lamp or an article of clothing. You can’t give money to the animal directly, but you can use your last will and testament to gift them to someone who will take care of them and provide them with a good home. People will also commonly gift a dollar amount to the new owner so that the pet will be cared for well.
It is also possible to create a trust for the benefit of your pet. When we hear of wealthy eccentrics who “cut their family out of the will and left everything to their pet,” this is what really happened. The pet did not technically receive anything; however, they are probably still pretty happy with the results!
While Leitch Law does not generally recommend providing for your pet to the exclusion of your human family members, we do encourage you to take your furry family members into account when crafting your estate plan.