This short video, featuring a report by Tony Lopez of news station KOVR Sacramento, discusses the plans of two families for their companions, if the humans in the family should pre-decease their companion animals. Estate planning for such possibilities is increasingly on the minds of people whose families include companion animals. There is considerable room for animal lawyers to get involved in this, but we hope for two things. First, we urge that any attorney working on estate planning also work to relieve the suffering of homeless animals in our animal shelters. These animals did not have affluent human caretakers or their affluent human caretakers did not anticipate the need because they thought their human family members would take care of their companion animals. It is important that shelter animals not be forgotten if one participates in this relatively new wave of securing brighter futures for animals whose humans thought to provide for them and had sufficient wherewithal to do so. Second, we recommend careful consideration and review of any potential caretaker or successor caretaker. Circumstances can change for the caretaker who takes over after the death of the first human companion to the animal. Not all organizations or individuals will approach caretaking responsibilities with the same degree of respect for the animal. Sometimes the thorniest issues are not legal.
“In memory of the animals who do not make it, in honor of those still suffering, and in hope of those we might be able to help. We hear you.”
~ Katya Lidsky, writer and performer, ‘I’m Sorry: How an Apologist Found Her Voice’”
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