Most people think of their pets as members of their family and treat them accordingly. Your pets rely on you for everything, and it can be hard to think about what might happen to them if something were to happen to you.

It is natural to be concerned about what happens to your furry friends if something happens to you. This is extremely important if you do not have family members who may be able to step in to care for your pets immediately. Notifying neighbors or others who are close to you about your pets and how to access your home in the event of an emergency can be helpful.

Remember that your pets will always need a home and even veterinary care. Treating your pets like family may also prompt you to consider creating a pet trust. Creating a trust for your animals can include the identity of each pet, the name of a person who is responsible for caring for the animals, how the pets should be cared for, and money set aside specifically for pet care.

There are multiple options for what can happen after you pass away with your pets, as individual people may step up to take them, shelters can take them in, or they can be fostered in the short term. But putting your pets through any further stress may be avoidable with advanced estate planning.

If you’re unable to find someone to take care of your pet after you pass away, there are specific programs that can help. This includes private animal rescue in your area, veterinary schools, and the ASPCA. You can also ask your veterinarian about programs specific to your local area and who should be contacted in the event that something happens to you. A little advanced planning with the help of an attorney goes a long way in addressing many of the concerns you have about providing for your pets after you pass away.

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