Some people will say that adopting a pet is signing up for a small-scale personal tragedy in the future. Even the longest-lived cats and dogs will likely only spend at most two decades with their owners, so you know you will eventually have to grieve the animal that lives with you.
However, some people bring in new pets when they already are well into their golden years or have health issues that they know will prove terminal. Other people add very long-lived companion animals to their families. Tortoises and parrots are perfect examples. They can live for decades or even over a hundred years, meaning they could outlive generations of owners.
How do you protect a pet that will live longer than you?
You can create a pet trust
Leaving an inheritance to a pet is a risky choice. An animal can’t legally own or inherit property. More importantly, the people who take care of the pet after you may have an incentive to euthanize it then so that they inherit those assets.
Creating a pet trust is a safer option. You can name one person to care for the animal with their permission and someone else as the trustee overseeing the financial resources that will provide for the pet. You can then also decide what will happen to those assets after the pet dies of natural causes. A pet trust ensures that your animal will have proper care and love after you die.
Thinking about those who depend on you, including your companion animals, can help you add the right terms to your estate plan.