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You need to add your pet to your will

Odds are that you do not think of your pet as property but as a family member. You love them, you care for them and you may not consider them on the same level as your children, but it's close. Pets do not feel like "something" that you own, not in the same way that you own a painting or a car.

That said, pets are property, legally speaking. You paid for them. Now you own them. Something has to be done with them if you pass away. They have a monetary value, and they are part of your estate.

Even if it feels unnatural to think about your pet this way, that's the stance you need to take when you're writing a will. You may want to put your pet into your estate plan and spell out who should get them, just the way you would with that painting or that car. They need a plan. You need to know someone will take care of them if you cannot.

Another way to think of this is the way that you would consider minor children. They are not your property, per se, but you certainly are responsible for them. Doing estate planning means picking a guardian for your children so that someone can replace that parental role. In the same way, you need to pick a caretaker for your pet and ensure that that person is up to the task.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about when writing a will. Be sure you know what steps to take.

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