Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Client Base Expands for Pet Estate Planning

I often discuss the importance of planning for the care of a client's pet animals upon the client's disability or death.  Recently released statistics demonstrate the number of individuals who need such planning is rapidly increasing.  For example, in 1988, only 51 million households owned pets.  The number increased to 64 million households by 2002 and has now reached 69 million households.  Now that is a huge number of potential clients!!

As many as 43.5 million households in the United States own dogs and 37.7 million own cats.  In addition to these traditional pets, Americans also own a wide variety of other animals. For example, there are 14.7 million households with fish, 6.4 million with birds, over five million with small animals such as hamsters and rabbits, and 4.4 million with reptiles.

See Melissa A. Monroe, Creature Comforts, San Antonio Express-News, May 4, 2005, at E1 (reporting statistics gathered from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association's 2005/2006 National Pet Owners Survey) (partially posted on web).

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