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Saturday, December 17, 2016

How can I leave my dog to my daughter when I die?

Plenty of people want to make sure that they've documented their wishes for the care of their pets so that once they're gone, their family members will know what to do. I'm in favour of documenting anything that will help resolve - or even better, prevent - estate disputes, and instructions for care of a beloved pet falls into that category.

In a recent article from, the author talks about using your will to set aside some funds to pay for the feeding, care, and veterinary costs of your pet after you die. The money would be used by the person to whom you are leaving the care of the animal. Click here to read the article. It's brief but informative, and very readable.

Though it may seem at first glance that you are paying someone to take your precious dog or cat, that's not the case. You're simply making sure there is no financial burden on someone who loves your pet enough to keep her. And paying money is not a way of ensuring someone will be persuaded to take the pet; in the majority of cases any dispute that arises is caused by the fact that there are too many people willing to take the pet, rather than too few.

I often make wills for customers who want to organize and settle their pet's care ahead of time. Like any other aspect of a good, solid will, having this done brings peace of mind. And just to add to the advice given by the article I mentioned, many of my clients feel better if the clause giving the animal to a caregiver states that the animal is not to be euthanized unless medically necessary. It's a tough leap of faith to leave a helpless pet to someone, and this feels like a little bit of extra protection.

The picture on this thread is Roxy, a 3 1/2 pound Teacup Pom who helps out at our office by greeting our clients and licking them to pieces.

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