You can’t leave your pets money, but you can still give them a good life.

  1. your pet goes to a caring person or organization, and
  2. the new caretaker has the resources to take good care of him or her.

Options for Estate Planning for Pets

When planning for your pet’s life after your death, you have a range of options – from making simple, non-legal arrangement, to making a complex trust, to leaving your pet with an organization dedicated to taking care of pets after an owner’s death.

To make any of these arrangements, you need to find a person or organization that you trust to care for your pet. And that person or organization needs to be willing to do it. So no matter which option you choose, have a candid conversation with your pet’s potential caretaker about how to care for your pet and how expenses will be met.

Pets in Your Will

Again, you cannot use your will to leave money or property to your pet. If you try, that money or property will be included in your residuary estate, see “What If I Don’t Make a Plan,” below.

However, you can use your will or living trust to leave your pet — and money to care for your pet — to a trusted caretaker.