As a pet owner, you know the feelings of joy and satisfaction you get from your animal companion. As an aging senior, however, you also know that there are a lot of things that you used to do that you probably shouldn’t do any more. Senior pet owners have to consider several issues as they age that younger pet owners don’t really need to think about as much. If you are a senior pet owner and have yet to do so, developing a pet plan is an essential piece of being prepared for the future.
Issue 1. Your Pet and Your Estate Plan
You create an estate plan to deal with the issues that arise after your death. For pet owners, providing for your pet’s care after you’re gone is essential. Creating and properly funding a pet trust is one of the best ways you can make sure your pet will be cared for in the future. If you haven’t already created a pet trust, you need to speak to your estate planning attorney about creating one as soon as possible.
Issue 2. Your Pets and Your Home
Many seniors plan on living in their home as they age. Even though not everyone is able to do this, those who plan on staying in their home need to be prepared to make changes to make your home as senior-friendly as possible. For example, eliminating tripping hazards and other potential causes of slips and falls is essential. Seniors can experience significant and life-threatening injuries as the result of a fall because their bodies are less able to sustain damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 80,000 people suffer fall-related injuries that result from tripping or falling over a cat or dog.
Seniors who plan on living in a home with a pet will want to limit the possibility that their pets cause such an injury. For example, if you live in a home with multiple levels, you can keep your pets isolated to a single level, or by keeping them outside as much as possible.
Issue 3. Your Pet and Your Finances
Pets can be expensive, especially if they suffer serious illnesses or injuries. Veterinary care expenses can easily cost thousands of dollars in emergency situations. If you haven’t already done so, you will want to look at what kind of pet insurance is available to you. Pet insurance plans can allow you protection against serious expenses that arise when your pet needs costly veterinary care. Including pet insurance when you develop your retirement plan is important for sound financial planning.
An experienced and qualified estate planning attorney can be of great assistance in helping plan for the care of Fido and Fluffy.