We talk a lot about your pets’ health here at Great Pet Health. There’s a reason for that. But what if you take such good care of your pet that it ends up looking all sad-faced at your funeral? The folks at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals polled 1,000 pet owners–or, as they say, “pet guardians”–across the country. They’ve learned that a lot of people don’t know what the law requires to make sure your pet is taken care of in the event of human death. For example (to quote from the press release): [photo via petsugar]
- Only 17 percent have taken legal action (a will, a trust fund, or some other legal document) to plan for the care of any of their pets should they die.
- Dog owners are more likely to take legal steps to plan for their dogs (17 percent) than cat owners are to plan for their cats (11 percent).
- Even pet owners who have taken legal steps to plan for their own death in general have not necessarily included their pets in that planning. Of those who have completed a will for themselves (42 percent of cat or dog owners), only 18 percent have included their pets in that will.
- The most common form of estate planning for the care of pets is speaking to a friend or family member about caring for a pet (53 percent of dog or cat owners have done so), followed by creating a pet portfolio containing the information needed for someone else to care for a pet (39 percent have created one).
Hey, we’re guilty as charged. Fortunately, the whole idea behind the ASPCA’s polling is to raise awareness of the Pet Protection Agreement. This legal document is set up with the folks at LegalZoom for some easy arranging of your pet’s security. Don’t worry–we’ve gone through the fine print, and there’s nothing in there where you’re leaving the bulk of your estate to the ASPCA. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. It’s your money. The important thing here is that your pet will be set with a happy life after you’re gone. They’ll just never know what you did for them. Pets can’t read, you know.