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Making the responsible choice for future pet care

Many owners would do anything to care for their pets now, but don't think about what may happen if they are no longer able to. For elderly owners especially, it is important to plan ahead for a pet's care so they do not end up adding to the already-overcrowded animal rescue shelters.

Hotel heiress Leona Helmsley made headlines when she died in 2007 and left a $12 million trust fund for her dog, according to Forbes Magazine. Although this sum is higher than most would leave, Forbes says that it is a good idea for adults to form some sort of trust for pet care after they die to ensure that the animal is not then a financial burden on loved ones.

The news source reports that 42 dtates and the District of Columbia now have laws that specifically authorize the creation of trusts for pet care. Owners should specify a trustee for the money and leave funds that will cover pet food, medical care and supplies.

AARP reports that owners should not assume that certain friends and family members will adopt or care for a pet in case of hospitalization or death. It is better to discuss the details ahead of time and spell out each pet's care in a written will.  
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