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Pets, end of life wishes often missing from estate plans

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2020 | Firm News

Creating a will might seem like the end of estate planning, but it is often just the beginning. Estate plans should include other important documents and information, including trusts, plans for pets and end-of-life wishes. Forgetting to include this type of information can have unintended consequences, including abandoned pets and unwanted medical care.

Texas pet owners know that their furry friends are more than animals — they are family. One of the reasons that people create estate plans is to provide or care for their loved ones in the future, so pets should not be an exception. A pet owner can specify a caretaker for a pet in his or her will, and may also choose to leave certain assets or set up a trust to help cover future costs. It is also smart to include a document detailing the pet’s needs, veterinary clinic, food and more.

End-of-life care is another overlooked area of estate planning. While it is not pleasant to think about a situation in which someone cannot make his or her own medical decisions, the reality is that this happens to people each and every day. Designating a trusted relative or friend to make decisions on one’s behalf can help avoid unwanted medical interventions or treatments. A document that details treatment that someone is comfortable with will help guide the designated individual’s decisions.

It is possible to address a number of issues and topics during estate planning. However, this is not a topic that many people visit regularly, so it might be hard to wade through different information about what should show up in estate plans. Speaking with an experienced attorney who understands Texas residents’ needs might be helpful for those who are worried that they are missing important information.