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Is your pet covered in your will?

Posted at 2:57 PM, Feb 22, 2019

Fashion designer Karl Largefeld left behind a $200 million fortune following his recent death, and his cat is set to inherit part of it.

Although it may sound absurd to leave millions of dollars to an animal, to the fashion mogul, Choupette the cat was much more than a pet. The cat was family.

Maia Brusseau, with the non-profit animal shelter Dumb Friends League, agrees. She says many owners they see their pets as people.

"It is not crazy to think about what is going to happen to your pet after you’re no longer here,” Brusseau explains. “It’s actually a very important thing to think about."

While we may think of our pets like family members, the legal system considers them property, so how you set up a plan for your pet in your will is different.

Keep in mind the following tips when determining care for your pet:

  • Identify a care giver-someone you trust to take care of your pet.
  • Pets are expensive, so think about allocating funds to your care giver to take care of your pet
  • Create a dossier with general information, including what they eat, how much they need to be walked and a great pet sitter
  • Come up with a plan B, which may include leaving your pet to a reputable shelter

"That is a good idea to have that as a back-up if the family can't take care of them, especially if you have a favorite shelter you want to be able to support, so you know it will provide great care for your pet," Brusseau says.

Brusseau says if you are a pet owner, put your pet in your will.

"No matter what your age is, you should really make sure you have a plan in place, whether it’s an agreement with a family member or a friend who will take care of your pet for you, or if you do make provisions and put it in your will for someone to care for your pets,” she says.