A Plan for Rover After You're Gone

An owner's illness or death is a common reason for a pet being given up. However, here are some steps you can take to ensure your beloved companion is cared for if something happens to you.

A man gives a dog a high five
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pets are cherished family members, but it's the rare owner who considers what will happen to a four-legged friend if the worst occurs. An owner's illness or death remains one of the top 10 reasons pets are relinquished, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy.

For your pet to be cared for financially and physically after you're gone, your estate plan needs to include those arrangements. "Talk to your attorney, evaluate your state's laws, and assess your resources," says Steven Maughan, vice president of planned gifts and estates at the Humane Society of the United States. Many of the same estate-planning tools you'd use to take care of your human dependents can also protect your pets.

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Editorial Intern, Kiplinger.com