Make sure your BFF is taken care of.

I’ve taken hiatus from my series on Estate Planning for Young Professionals, but I am getting back to it.

4.         Make sure your BFF is taken care of.

When people think of estate planning they typically think of people. However, many young professionals have not yet started a family, but have a best friend forever. It is their pet. If you’re a pet owner, you know how attached your pets can get to you, and vice versa. But, what happens to them in the event you’re not there anymore? In the same light parents should appoint a guardian for their children, it is wise for pet owners to appoint a pet guardian.

There are a few ways this can be done. The first is in a Will. The main drawback to this approach is that probate procedures typically are not quick. This leads to a period where your pet may in limbo as to who will care for it. Your chosen pet guardian may not be able to pay expenses for the pet without funds from your estate. If the estate is stuck in probate you’ve really put that person in a tough spot. A second option is a Pet Trust. This document can name the pet guardian (just like the will) and can hold funds for the pet’s care. It is valid during your life and after your death without the need for court involvement. This approach ensures that the person that will be caring for your pets will have ample funding at their disposal to care for your pets immediately upon your death or disability.