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Estate planning for pets in Phoenix, Arizona
Pet Instructions
The Estate Director
Information for pet guardians
  • Medical needs
  • Feeding instructions
  • Exercise needs
  • Favorite toys
  • Where to scratch them
  • Free download
  • Estate planning for pets overview
    What to know:
  • Pets cannot be named beneficiaries
  • Pets such as dogs and cats can have a trust pay for medical, food and other expenses
  • If children are still dependents, talk to guardians about the pets joining the kids
  • Know if your pets will get along with a potential caretaker's pets
  • Consider if your potential caretaker's lifestyle matches your pets' needs
  • After the last pet passes, the amount set aside for the pet can go to a charity
  • Estate Planning For Pets

    Too often, pets are not included in estate plans. To ensure ongoing and proper care, consider addressing your pets' needs along with other loved ones.

    Pets cannot be named beneficiaries of money or property from your estate. So, what are your options?

    While a will often lacks the structure to provide for adequate care, a properly written trust is an ideal planning tool. If your pets' caretaker is not one of your successor trustees, the caretaker keeps receipts to be reimbursed by the successor trustee.

    When the last trustor(s)' pet is no longer living, the balance of the amount set aside can either revert back to the trust for distribution to beneficiaries or be given to a charity, such as an animal shelter.

    Picking a Caretaker

    A few simple steps can avoid added grief for your family and pets. Talk to family and friends to see who would enjoy caring for your pets. If you are naming guardians for minor children, talk to them about also taking your pets to ease the transition for the children.

    Heading Out Of Town?

    Visit the APPSA - Arizona Professional Pet Sitters and Associates, a referral network of professional pet sitters serving the metropolitan Phoenix area and beyond.

    Determining An Amount to Set Aside

    The answer depends on various factors:
    • The type of animals (horses are more expensive than dogs and cats)
    • Smaller animals eat less food than large animals
    • Some breeds are predisposed to have certain costly medical ailments
    • Grooming requirements
    • How much longer you expect your pets to live
    • New pets in the future
    • Inflation (wills and trust can always be amended)

    Print Our Free Pet Planning Worksheet


    Include important pet care information for your pet's caretakers such as vet contact info, feeding preferences, ID / microchip #'s, and other relevant information.

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