Thursday, January 16, 2014
As of 2012, 68% of American households owned pets. This record high means more people are providing for their pets in their wills.
From 2010 to 2012, the percentage of dog owners who had made financial provisions in their wills rose from 5% to 9%. Among cat owners, the percentage rose from 6% to 9%. Because owners can’t leave money directly to pets, they typically leave money to a designated caretaker. However, this caretaker is under no legal obligation to use the money for the pet’s benefit.
Pet owners should instead set up a pet trust, which appoints a trustee who is legally obligated to act in the pet’s best interest.
See Anne Tergesen, More Americans Are Writing Their Pets into Their Wills, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 12, 2014.