More Americans are leaving money to their pets

By Amanda Stewart,

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pet owners who include their pets in their wills have increased in recent years.

In 2012, 68 percent of Americans had pets, according to Headlines and Global News, and nine percent of cat owners have named their cat in their wills as well as nine percent of dog owners.

State laws stop many pet owners from leaving money for their pets directly because pets are considered property, which cannot be left property. In order to ensure that your pet gets the care they need, a pet owner must leave money to a trusted caretaker.

While it seems crazy, most owners are leaving enough for food and vet costs after they are gone. The Wall Street Journal referenced the recent death of Muriel Siebert, who left tens of thousands of dollars to her pet for its care after she died.

"Pet trusts aren't just for the wealthy," says Frances Carlisle, a trust attorney. For most pet owners the goal "is to make sure a plan exists for the care of the animal."

Pet trusts take care of your pet not only after the owner’s death, but also in the case of any accident or disease, the caregiver would take the pet.

Carlisle says that it is also very important to make sure everyone involved has a copy of the agreement and there are successors.

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