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Most people who have pets consider them to be a part of the family. Arkansas residents who feel this way will be happy to know that they can, indeed, make provisions for their furry family members in their estate planning documents. The law, however, considers pets to be personal property, so that is another good reason to include Fido and Fluffy in an estate plan.

When considering including a pet in an estate plan — whatever kind of pet that may be, some pertinent questions should be answered. Firstly, who will look after the pet? Having an important conversation with any likely candidates is extremely important. The testator will want to make sure the person chosen is willing to take on the care of the pet. Obviously, compassion, kindness, a love of animals and honesty should be qualities of the individual.

Secondly, how much money should be set aside for the pet’s care? Calculating what it costs to care for the pet each year could be used as a guideline. That sum could be given to the person who has been chosen to care for the pet when the time comes. If that amount is sizable, a trust for the pet could be created.

An Arkansas estate planning attorney will be able to help his or her pet-owning clients to fashion a plan to ensure the pet’s needs are looked after when the client is no longer around to do so. Depending upon a person’s individual needs, a lawyer will be able to offer advice on which documents would be most prudent to include in an estate plan when it comes to pets in particular. Those who love their pets may want peace of mind knowing they will be cared for after they’ve died, and a lawyer can help with those plans.