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Animal Update: Planning For Your Pet’s Future

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(KCBS) – What happens if you predecease your animal and have not outlined plans for him or her in your will?

“If you don’t have a plan what will happen is it will be up to your next of kin to decide what will happen to your pet,” explained Jennifer Scarlett, DVM, co-president of the San Francisco SPCA. “So hopefully there will be a friend or relative that can open up their home but that’s not always the case. We see many, many animals left in shelters because there wasn’t a plan in place.”

There are specific steps people can take to make certain that their pets will be cared for after they pass away.

“There’s a variety of wills and agreements and trusts that can be set up. The main thing is if you designate someone to take care of your pet in your will, make sure that you have that conversation with that person and that it’s written down,” Scarlett recommended.

“A pet trust is a legal instrument that allows you to provide care for your pet by setting aside a sum of money which is then going to be managed by your trustee of your estate,” she added. “And in 2009 a law went into effect that was aimed at protecting animals after the death of their guardian. And what it says is that if you’ve set up a trust for your animal your trustee by law has to go with your request.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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