For pet owners, taking the time to develop an estate plan that will ensure your pet is cared for after you are gone might require you to incorporate pet insurance. In addition to making a pet trust or taking other steps to protect your furry loved one, pet insurance can be a useful and practical tool.
Like all estate planning elements, you will need to carefully consider your needs, abilities, as well as the effects that pet insurance might have on the other elements of your estate plan. Here are some common questions about pet insurance and how it plays a role in your estate planning efforts.
Do I need to have pet insurance?
Maybe. Like other financial and insurance questions, pet insurance is something that you need to evaluate in light of your current financial abilities and your desires. There are many types of pet insurance, each of which comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. The primary drawback of any insurance policy is, obviously, the premium payments. Pet insurance can be fairly affordable or rather expensive depending on the policy involved and your ability to pay the premium.
If you are considering pet insurance you should develop a budget and see how much you can afford.
Next, you need to consider the types of policies that are available and those that can fit in your budget.
Finally, you need to speak to your veterinarian about the kinds of health problems your pet will most likely encounter. Some pets, or pet breeds, develop certain types of problems more often than others. You want to be sure that you understand what your pet can expect to encounter in the future and then look for a policy that is both in your budget and one that meets your pet’s needs.
What happens to the insurance after I am gone?
Like other pet issues, you can develop a pet trust that will provide for your pets care after you are gone. Through the trust you can set aside some of your property to pay for the pet’s food, shelter, healthcare needs, and other related expenses. The trustee of your pet trust will be responsible for using trust property to pay for those expenses. As long as you make sure that your trust is properly created and funded, you can direct the trustee to use trust property to maintain the appropriate level of insurance coverage. Also, if your pet’s needs change, you can give your trustee the ability to find better or more appropriate coverage as needed.
How do I get started?
Obtaining pet insurance is something you should do only after looking at the broad picture. A good pet insurance plan should be something you can easily incorporate into your other estate planning elements. An experienced and qualified estate planning attorney can tell you how to do this, as well as give you advice on the best way to not only obtain the insurance, but also how to ensure that it continues for as long as your pet needs it.
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