Can Your Pet Remain “By Your Side”

Besides a pet owner’s death, the other time when our pets are at risk is if we become incapacitated. An owner should have a Durable Power of Attorney naming a caregiver and care instructions for the event of the owner’s incapacity.  But what if the owner’s incapacity allows him or her to remain in their residence. Or the owner must relocate to a new residence. What happens to our pet?

I recommend that there is language in the Durable Power of Attorney and/or Living Trust that memorializes the importance and desire to have our pets remain near us. Nowadays, many assisted living facilities (and especially board and care homes) allow pets (ok, probably not horses but most others).  But it is important to state this in your documents and direct your agents to find a residence for you that will allow you bring your pet.

And if you are lucky enough to be able to remain in your home, you might wish to include instructions to your agents to authorize them to hire and pay dog walkers or others to socialize and interact with your pet if you are confined to the house.

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