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Are you sure your estate plan is done?  Think again!  What about your pet?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00: 00
Written by Joni B. Bailey
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When you seek help drafting Will or Trust documents to carry out your wishes at the time of your death, don’t forget your pets! 

Here are some questions you can answer before you meet with your attorney:

If you are in the hospital or a rehab facility for a short time:

  • Who do you know and trust to provide care for your pet?

  • Do they have keys to your house?

  • Does the pet know and trust them?

  • Do they know your pet’s ordinary care routine and special needs?

  • Do they know who your veterinarian is?

  • Does your veterinarian have your permission for your friend or relative to request services for your pet?

  • Does your friend or relative know the limits on how much you are willing to spend on veterinary care?

  • Does your friend or relative agree to do more than just check on your pet a couple times a day?

  • Does your friend or relative know about special precautions that are needed in your home to protect your pet and your floors and furniture?

  • How will your friend or relative pay for food, treats, transportation, and veterinary care while you are away from home?

  • What will your friend or relative do with your pet if they go on vacation or are away for a few days?

If you can no longer live in your own home:

See the questions listed above, plus:

  • Do you have a friend or relative who will take the pet into their home?

  • Do you plan to pay for your pet’s needs?

  • Do you want to have visits with your pet?

  • Does the Trustee understand the standard of living you want for your pet?

  • Are there any circumstances that you can imagine when you would want your pet to be taken to a pet adoption facility or shelter?

When you die:

See the questions listed above, plus:

  • How much of your estate do you want to set aside for your pet?

  • Who would you name as the Trustee for your pet?

  • Do you want to compensate them for caring for your pet?

  • Who would you name as the backup Trustee?

  • Do you want to name someone to keep an eye on the Trustee to make sure your wishes are being carried out?

  • When the pet dies, what happens with the rest of the money you set aside in the Trust?

  • What do you want to do with the pet’s remains when it dies?

In 2005 a new statute was enacted in Illinois making Pet Trust planning viable by treating pets as companions instead of property.

Watch this blog and the Facebook page for The Law Office of Joni Beth Bailey for the details of the upcoming Free Pet Trust Clinic for local residents and their pets!


The Bailey Law Firm will be offering 7 FREE Pet Trusts on Friday, June 17th. In order to schedule an appointment, fill out the worksheet linked below first and then call us at 618-684-8668 to set up your appointment.

Fill Out the Pet Trust Worksheet

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