Make a List and Check It Twice


Attorney Rochelle Quiggle

One concern many pet owners have, or should have, is what happens to their pet in the event of an emergency. If the owner gets sick or dies unexpectedly who will take care of the pet?? Schuylkill County attorney Rochelle Quiggle discussed how to set up legal documentation to ensure your pet’s care in case of death. A power of attorney and/or executor should be chosen. It is important to choose back up people as well. What if your chosen friend and you were in the car together and killed in an accident? Another person needs to be able to step in. Different states have different laws, so consulting an attorney would be advantageous. A trust seems to be the best bet as they are in effect immediately, as opposed to a will, which may take time to take effect.

A will can be relatively simple, expressing your desires, revoking all previous wills, signed, dated, and notorized. It can be vague or very specific. Pets may be named and designated for a particular caregiver ( don’t forget to have a back up), or you can choose a person to be in charge of finding a home (or homes). Money may be designated for the care of the pet (s).  An additional idea is to set up a life insurance trust for your pet’s care.

One item I found particularly important, as well as simple, is to make a detailed list for each pet and post it in your home and email it to several people, so information on your pet is readily accessible in the event of illness or death. This information should include the name and description of pet ( in the case of multiple pets), food brand and amount to feed, veterinarian’s name and contact information, and any health issues the pet may have including where to find medication and directions for giving,

You may even want to be more specific on this list and include the name and contact information of your pet’s breeder, if applicable. Quality breeders will step up to the plate in the event of an emergency to ensure the animals they bred are taken care of. You may also want to list your pet’s favorites…..which toys, games or type of attention it enjoys. In addition, you may include fears or behavior issues.

Hopefully, this information will not be used. But, if it is needed, your pet will thank you for it. Consider it a last gift.