Because pets usually have shorter life spans than their human companions, you have probably already planned for your feline's passing. But what if you are the one to pass first? Who will step in and make sure your wishes are followed, and what exactly are those wishes?
As a responsible pet owner, you make sure your feline has food, water, love and a litter box every day. Who is going to do this when you are gone?
In the event of your death, be sure your animal's immediate needs are provided for. Find at least two responsible friends or relatives who agree ahead of time to step in and ensure the safety and well being of your feline. Provide them with a key to your home, feeding and care instructions, the name of your veterinarian, and information about the permanent care provisions you have made.
Touch base with family members and friends who may be willing to provide permanent living situations for your pets. Renew their commitment yearly as folk's lifestyles change, just as your number of pets may change. If you are unable to find someone to take permanent custody of your animals, review with the Executor of your Estate your wishes regarding the care of your pets. Research in advance placement agencies and rescue groups that might be able to assist, and find out, what, if any, requirements they have.
Discuss with your attorney the advantages of setting up a trust. A trust can provide for your pet immediately and can apply not only if you die, but also if you become ill or incapacitated. A trust can be created separately from a will and carries certain benefits, such as providing for your pets even during a lengthy disability. Additionally you should consider authorizing a Power of Attorney. Simpler than trusts, these do not involve a legal entity that needs to be formally maintained, but rather allows you to preselect a representative to handle your affairs in regards to the care of your pets, and to expend money as necessary. While wills are an effective method for providing long term funds and instructions regarding the care of your pets, most wills are not formally recognized by a court for days or even weeks after your death - in other words, it may be a long time before instructions regarding your pets can be carried out.
Many folks couple their request that a rescue group or placement agency assist in the rehoming of their pet with a donation to that charitable organization.
Your will might include:
- A specific percentage of your estate or a specific dollar amount allotted to an organization.
- The remainder of your estate after expenses and gifts to your family (the "rest and residue").
- A specific, definitive asset (i.e. a house, stocks, or coin collection).
When you designate a charitable organization as the recipient of some or all of your assets, you contribute to that organization's longevity. Before making any formal arrangements, visit the organization to see how the animals are cared for; where they are confined; who looks after them; and what policies and procedures exist regarding care at the facility and placement with a new family. If you decide to support an organization by leaving assets upon your demise, select a well-established organization that has solid experience, reputation and business sense.
If you include the SCRC in your will or make a substantial gift, please use the following designation:
Siamese Cat Rescue Center
366 Meander Run Rd.
Locust Dale, VA 22948
You may wish to notify SCRC as to the terms, conditions, and circumstances of your will. This ensures that your gift will benefit SCRC in the proper manner, for the right purpose, and in a timely manner. SCRC is a tax exempt, charitable organization recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. Our Federal Tax I.D. Number is 54-1888444.