In estate planning, determining how much to set aside for pet care depends on the animal. Pet owners must factor in the animal’s health and its average lifespan. The owner will also have to appoint the caregiver, with whom the pet will live; the money person, who will manage and disburse the funds set aside for the pet’s care; and the “watchdog,” who will make sure the caregiver is doing right by the pet and carrying out the deceased’s wishes. Planning only for the owner’s death is a pitfall to avoid. Pet owners should have care instructions in the event of an accident for good measure. Another trap to avoid is only budgeting for the pet’s early years. Expenses can increase dramatically as the pet gets older.
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