How to include pets in a Michigan estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | Estate Planning

If you own a pet, it may be possible to include provisions for that animal in your estate plan. For instance, you may be able to create a trust that is to be used to provide for your animal’s needs after you pass. It may also be possible to name a preferred guardian for your pet in the event that you cannot care for it.

Pets are generally considered to be property

In the eyes of the law, a dog is often considered to be no more important than a couch or a car. The same is typically true if you own a cat, bird or any other type of animal. Therefore, if you include your pet in your will, it may not be transferred to its intended guardian for weeks or months after your passing. This is why it’s typically in your best interest to address pet care in a separate document that may take effect immediately after you pass.

You could transfer ownership of a pet during your lifetime

If you know that you only have a few weeks or months to live, it may be worthwhile to transfer ownership of your animal prior to your passing. An estate planning professional may be able to explain the potential benefits of making such a decision in greater detail. It’s important to note that you may be able to retain possession of the animal until your death after transferring ownership to another person.

If you are a pet owner, it’s generally a good idea to account for your furry friend in your estate plan. This can help to ensure that it won’t be left to fend for itself if something unexpected happens to you.