I have always assumed my husband and I will outlive our pets.
It occurred to me one night, while in the foggy dark between wake and sleep, that they could outlive us. All it takes is one second and we could be gone. It happens every day.
Then the questions came fast. Where will my babes go if we both die? Will someone haul them off to a shelter, leaving them unknowing and confused? Will they all be separated? Will they die in a cold room where the scent of all those who went before them still lingers? I had not thought of this before.
The thought rocked me and I took action. You should, too.
So, how do you make sure your pets are cared for if you die before them? There are two aspects to think about: immediate care and long-term care.
For long-term care, add into your will who will be responsible for adopting and caring for your pets. Choose someone who fits the bill and respects your values of love and care. But first, talk to that person. Make sure they are willing to do this for you.
When writing this into your will, remember that pet care is expensive. Think about allotting a certain amount of money to your pets’ caregiver to help with expenses.
Short-term care is also an issue. Your pets can’t wait for the filing and execution of your will. They need immediate and daily care. Arrange for someone you trust to swoop in right away and begin caring for your animals. If the person in your will is near you, it will probably be them. But if they live far away from you, you’ll need someone else, fast.
Here’s the quick takeaway:
- Be straight with yourself. Understand the real possibility you will die before your pet.
- Talk to someone you trust about taking your pet immediately if something should happen to you.
- Write it in your will. It’s always better to have it legally binding than leave any questions or doubt.
This may be an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but it’s necessary to think about and take care of. When you do, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your babes are safe.