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Information on estate planning and pets

Many of our Texas readers have pets, with some wondering what would happen to their beloved friends should they pass on. While many people don't realize it, there are steps you can take to ensure that your pet is included in your estate plan.

There are several situations that may require immediate care for your pet. This could include anything from your death to becoming incapacitated. Rather than continue to worry about what would happen to your pet in such a situation, it is best to take the appropriate steps during the estate planning process.

One of the first things you can do is arrange for somebody to become caretaker in the event that something happens. Along with this, you should create a durable power of attorney. This makes it easy for your agent to access your funds, thus having the money necessary to care for your pet.

It is also important to make note of your pet in your will. As of 2006 in the state of Texas, you have the ability to create a trust for the care of your pet or pets. This makes it easier to ensure that your pet is taken care of after you pass on.

There is a lot to consider as you get started with estate planning; however, you don't want to overlook the importance of ensuring the long-term well-being of your pets. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can take the steps necessary towards creating a plan that you are comfortable with.

Source: My San Antonio, "How to include pets in your estate plan" Paul Premack, Feb. 24, 2014

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