Groups work to ensure owners’ estate plans include pets

Legal Zoom and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have joined forces to make it easier for pet owners to provide instructions for the care and support of their pets if the owner should become incapacitated or die. Four out of five people have not established a plan for pet care, and half a million animal owners die or are rendered unable to physically care for their pet each year without having made plans for their animal friends, according to the ASPCA. WVLA-TV (Baton Rouge, La.)/NBC News (1/15)


NBC NATIONAL NEWS  — Some of you will be fine-tuning your estate plans and your will this month.

It’s important to make sure you’re not forgetting or leaving out someone special.

About one in five pet owners already have in writing what happens if their animals outlive them, because the consequences for not doing so can be so severe.

“If you haven’t made any arrangements there’s a good possibility that your pet could end up in a shelter, and there’s an even greater possibility that your pet could be euthanized for lack of finding a loving home,” warns Kim Bressant-Kibwe, a trust and estate counsel with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The ASPCA Recently teamed up with Legal Zoom to provide the pet protection agreement.

“It costs about $39 and what it allows you to do is to set out some very basic information about the care of your pet. You can name a guardian, a successive guardian,” Bressant-Kibwe explains.

She says you can’t leave your pet part of your estate, but you can establish a trust fund to pay for future care.

The ASPCA estimates a half million owners die or become incapacitated each year without leaving instructions on how to care for their pets

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