The Only Things Certain in this World…

Taxes and Death. It makes sense then that Tax Day and National Health Care Decisions Day are back to back – 15th and 16th.

We all know the importance of making health care decisions in advance of a serious illness or accident. But have you thought about what will happen to your pet if something happens to you? They need advance decisions made about their care.

What? Your Advance Directives aren’t done yet? Well, to put it bluntly, “You're screwed if something happens, you can’t make decisions for yourself, and you haven’t appointed someone to make them for you.”

You’ll have zero say-so about what happens next. The medical system will make all your decisions for you.

So, if this is you, STOP now and go here…(online advance directives). Then come back because we still need to talk about your pet.

Fill the form online, download, and print. Allows an individual residing in Oregon to appoint a health care agent, provide specific treatment preferences directly to attending medical personnel, or both. Once this paperwork is executed, it will become active if the principal is in a severe medical event where he or she is unable to communicate and decisions on treatments need to be made and applied.

Pet Parenting

Did you know that half of all dog owners refer to themselves as “parents” vs “owners”? We call our pets “fur babies” and treat them as family members. We talk to them, snuggle on the couch, and sleep with them.

Senior adults especially benefit from being pet parents. Pets provide comfort, companionship, and a purpose for living. Research suggests an increasing number of Americans grow old without children or spouses. Pets help fill the void.

But what happens to your pet if something happens to you? Responsible pet parents plan for “what if”.

Things to consider when choosing a guardian - or Fido’s “god-parent”

  • People usually choose (or assume) close friends or family will take their pet.
  • Are they willing? Ask. Don’t assume.
  • Are they able? Do they have the space and right situation for your pet?
  • Make sure they’re someone who’s successfully cared for pets themselves.
  • Have they met your pet and like him? Does your pet like them?
  • Do you trust them? Will they make decisions in the best interest of your pet?
  • Are you leaving money for your pet’s care?
  • People’s circumstances change. Consider lining up alternative adoptive pet-parents.

Which is better? A will or a trust for financial arrangements for your pet?

Talk to your estate attorney about which is best for you, your situation, and your pet. If you need an Elder Law Attorney, check out our resource page.

Read more helpful information about wills, trusts, and advance pet decisions here:

Pet Trust Funds

Providing for Your Pet’s Future

What does Tax Day, Health Decisions Day, and Pet Day have in common?

They all happen in April. Pet Day is also an opportunity to learn more about the importance of canine fitness. Read our post Canine Fitness and Seniors.

So let’s all plan for the worst, hope for the best, and prepare…

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