I Would Like to Ensure That Our Pets Are Cared for After We’re Gone. Is That Something That Goes Into a Will?

Trusts that are established for the benefit of animals are valid and enforceable in accordance with their terms in Washington State.

Pet Trust

You can establish a Pet Trust for the lifetime care of your pets. You can include a selection of a caregiver, a trustee, and what veterinarians are to be used. You can provide for reimbursement to caregivers, trustees and veterinarians for their services. A Pet Trust can be created by itself, or as part of a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust.

Designated Caregiver

If you don’t want to create a Pet Trust, you can designate a caregiver in your will, and if you would like you can also leave funds to that person for caring for the pet. It is important to name alternate caregivers, in case the first choice of a caregiver in unable or unwilling to assume those duties.

If you have a Durable Power of Attorney you can include a provision that allows your agent to make care decisions for your pets in case you are unable to do so at any time during your life.

Douglas N. Kiger, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.

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