I recently came across an advertisement for a Pet Guardian Agreement offered by FormalWill. For $29 (a savings of $30 on what is a $59 value), pet owners can ensure that, in the event of the owner’s incapacity or death, their pets are looked after by the appropriate people, funds can be set aside for the future care of their pets, instructions can be left with their pet’s veterinarians, groomers or pet walkers, and arrangements can be made to compensate the Pet Caregiver appointed.
The Humane Society of South Central Michigan has their version of a Pet Guardianship Agreement where the Humane Society will agree to provide emergency care for an animal in circumstances such as when the pet owner enters a full time care facility and can no longer care for the animal or where the pet owner predeceases the animal (although there is a caveat that all animals will be spayed or neutered upon entrance to the program unless it is contrary to the health of the animal). In such a circumstance, the animal will be given a full medical examination and be assessed by a behavioral team for “re-homing” suitability. If the animal is not suitable for “re-homing”, directions will be sought from the pet owner’s friends and families. Prior to the Pet Guardianship Agreement becoming valid, the pet owner must advise in writing that provision has been made for a bequest to the Humane Society in the pet owner’s Last Will and Testament.
In the alternative to a Pet Guardianship Agreement, Natalia Angelini has relayed some extreme examples of pet owners leaving money to their pets in her blog entitled From Rags to Riches. My favourite is the story of a German Sheppard, Gunther IV, who reportedly inherited $372 million from his father, Gunther III, the beloved companion of an eccentric German countess. This seems the easiest way to ensure your pet’s financial independence after you are gone.
Have a good weekend.