Yesterday our training club addressed an important issue for all of us who love our pets and consider them members of the family - estate planning and pet trusts. There was an article going around the internet a few weeks ago entitled "Will you be coming home to your pet." Lots of good ideas (entering an ICE number in your cell phone, hiding a key so your emergency contact has access to your home, etc.) for emergencies, but not long-term planning.
There were over 20 people at our club meeting - all of them deeply involved in dog training, dog sports, dog competition. And not one of us raised our hands when the speaker, Peter Canalia (CanaliaandClark.com) asked us if we had created a pet trust. Ooops.
According to Mr. Canalia, 10% of the pets euthanized in this country every year lose their lives because their owners made no provisions for their care. I'm not going to let that happen to my dogs.
Based on what I've learned, I think a Pet Trust is the best solution - naming a trustee to oversee the funds,
and a caretaker to oversee the pets. And back-ups for both of them. It doesn't have to be a boat-load of money in the trust, and I can even buy a life insurance policy to fund it - just name the trust as the beneficiary. It seems like a relatively easy and painless way of making sure my pets get the care they deserve.