The laws on estate planning methods that are enforceable to protect pets vary from state to state. To ensure the documents you execute are valid under the laws of your state, hire an attorney with experience in estate planning or animal law. See finding an attorney for tips on how to hire a lawyer to make an estate plan.If your attorney does not take the issue of protecting your pets seriously, find another attorney. One of the most common reasons animals are abandoned, turned over to shelters, or euthanized is the incapacity or death of their owners. Your heirs may promise to take care of your pets so you will leave them an inheritance, then dump your pets at the pound, or worse, the minute you are gone. See greedy heirs.
The truth is, no one loves your pets as much as you do. Do not leave your animals at the mercy of your heirs. Making a pet trust is a way pet owners can ensure their animal companions will have a caretaker or pet guardian. If you do not have a friend or relative you can trust to care for your pets in your absence, consider contacting a pet retirement home for information on alternative arrangements.