Cona Elder Law

A happy elderly woman hugging her dog

Estate Planning for Your Pets: Arranging for the Care of Your Beloved Pets After Your Become Incapacitated or Pass

Like countless pet owners, you may be deeply concerned about the welfare of your pets after you pass away or distressed about your pet’s care should you become incapacitated or require care in a healthcare facility. Like your other loved ones, you can provide for your pets with proper estate planning.

Pet Trusts

A Pet Trust is a trust typically created in your Will which names someone to be the caretaker for your pets and leaves funds in the care of a Trustee to provide for your pets after your passing. A Pet Trust can do what a simple testamentary bequest cannot; it can ensure that your pets receive care in accordance with your instructions, which you outline for your pet’s caretaker in a legally enforceable document. The trustee will handle the money and will distribute the funds to the caretaker to be used for your pet in the manner you have dictated. When choosing a caretaker, you should think about the person’s living situation, allergies, affinity for a particular kind of animal, etc. It is important to select a backup for both positions in case your first choice is unwilling or unable to serve.

The instructions to your pet’s caretaker can be as simple or as detailed as you choose. You may want to incorporate such details as the brand of food your pet prefers, the name of the veterinarian and descriptions of favorite toys. When deciding how much money to fund the Pet Trust with, you should consider the life expectancy of your pet, veterinary expenses, grooming expenses, transportation costs, housing, food, and compensation for your caretaker. Any assets remaining in the trust upon the death of your pet can either be distributed to your surviving family members and loved ones or donated to the charity of your choice.

Power of Attorney

A Pet Trust can provide your pets with a smooth transition and afford you the peace of mind that your pets will be cared for as you see fit after your passing. But what happens if you became incapacitated? That’s where your Power of Attorney comes in.

From a purely legal perspective, pets are considered a type of property that a person owns. Most Power of Attorney documents include the power to manage your property, which includes pets. But that may not be enough. For pet owners, drafting a Power of Attorney is an opportunity to leave specific instructions to your agent regarding the care of your pets. Similar types of instructions and directions to those that can be included in a Pet Trust can be included in your Power of Attorney to care for your pets if you became incapacitated.

New York passed a law making substantial revisions to the statutory form of Power of Attorney. Effective June 13, 2021, the Power of Attorney you sign must be this new legal document.Now is a perfect time to update your Power of Attorney and arrange for the estate planning and care of ALL of your loved ones – including your pets!

Cona Elder Law’s
Power of Attorney Day
Make an appointment with Cona Elder Law to receive the new Power of Attorney and leave with your legal document in one visit!
Why: New York passed a law making substantial revisions to the statutory form of Power of Attorney. Effective June 13, 2021, the Power of Attorney you sign must be this new legal document.

When: Two Day Event
1. Friday, June 18th: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
                           2. Saturday, June 19th: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Cona Elder Law
225 Broadhollow Road, Suite 200

Cost: $500 per Power of Attorney

Appointments Must be Made in Advance: Contact Janet Russell at 631.390.5000 or

About the Author Cona Elder Law

Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.

follow us on:

Accessibility Toolbar

Demo Title

This will close in 0 seconds