Providing for Your Pets: A Critical Part of Preplanning

When preplanning for end-of-life needs, people often make arrangements for worldly goods and funerals but sometimes forget about their pets. It’s important to make plans for pets so they don’t end up in a shelter or, worse, abandoned.

  • Make sure people know about your pets.
    • Your neighbors should know how many pets you have and what kind. If possible, introduce your pets to your neighbors so that it won’t be traumatic if someone from the neighborhood has to come in and care for them. 
    • Put stickers on the windows of your home indicating that pets are inside, in case of an emergency like a house fire. These stickers are available free of charge through the ASPCA and are an important tool for others who might be attending you, such as paramedics 
    • Carry a card in your wallet alerting someone to your pet ownership status in case of an accident. If you are unconscious or incapacitated, you will want someone to tend to your pets while you’re unable to do so. Especially if it takes a while to reach your family, it’s good for those caring for you to know that pets are also in need of care. 
  • Designate a guardian in case of your passing. Discuss the dispensation of your pets with your family members, and talk about who is willing and able to take them. It’s best to choose more than one trusted caregiver, but make sure you also consider personalities. Pets may not be a good fit for everyone in your family. Think about what would constitute a good home for your companion, and then designate guardianship in a trust. A trust is a better option than a will because a will takes longer to be enacted and won’t go into effect if you’re sick or disabled.
  • Giving someone the power of attorney and instructions is another way to ensure your pets’ care. A durable power of attorney is a good choice because it allows someone else to make decisions for your pet if you are not able to do so. A non-durable power of attorney is a good choice if you only need someone else to make these decisions for a brief time, such as when you’re on vacation or having surgery.

At Skylawn we understand the importance of making end-of-life plans. Call (650) 227-3142 or visit our Plan Ahead page to request your free preplanning guide.

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