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Though it can be unpleasant to think about, planning for the future is a great way to protect your loved ones. This includes ensuring that your spouse, children, and other family members are supported in the event you should pass. However, have you considered what will happen to your pet? If you want to care for a pet after your death, you may not know what your options are. Luckily, the following blog explores how to proceed with the help of a Washtenaw County trusts attorney.

What Can I Do to Care for a Pet if I Pass Away?

When you want to care for a pet after you pass, it’s essential to understand your options. Many assume a friend or family member will volunteer, but this is not always the case. It’s vital to ensure you take the necessary steps to guarantee that your pet will be cared for. In Michigan, you can establish a pet trust to look after your four-legged friend. These include funds, caretaking instructions, and funerary directions for the animal.

How Do I Set Up a Pet Trust?

To establish a pet trust, you’ll first need to determine which pets are cared for. It is important to note that only pets included in the trust are covered; if your dog has a litter after you pass, those puppies will not be included.

Once you have decided which pets are covered under the trust, you’ll need to fund the trust. You should estimate how much money is spent on supplies, food, grooming, and medical expenses the pet will incur through the rest of its life. However, you should avoid putting too much money in the trust, as it’s not uncommon for beneficiaries to contest the trust and the courts to rule in their favor.

You will also need to talk to your friends and family to determine who is able and willing to care for your pet after you pass. You must name a caretaker, but you should also ensure you have one, if not two alternates available in the event the named individual is not able to care for your pet. As a last resort, you can name a sanctuary or no-kill shelter to care for your pet if no one else is able to.

Finally, you’ll want to ensure you create the trust under the guidance of an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, many try to complete this process on their own which leads to errors that could invalidate the trust.

At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, we understand that your pet is an integral part of your family. As such, we will help guide you through the process of establishing this document to provide peace of mind that your beloved pet is cared for upon your passing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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