Estate Planning for Pets

Protect Your Pet with Your Estate Plans

Responsible pet owners always want to ensure the needs of their companion animals are met and while we may not like to think about a time when we cannot provide proper care for our beloved dogs and cats, responsible pet owners also need to think about providing for pets in their estate plans. Our animal friends are dependent on us to ensure that their well-being is arranged and handled effectively.

The Washington Animal Rescue League now offers two new fact sheets on this topic. The first is a general discussion on the subject. The second focuses on setting up legal entities known as pet trusts.

These trusts are now permitted in the District, Maryland, and Virginia—the three states constituting the League’s primary service area—as well as many other states. The fact sheet on pet trusts was kindly developed by Virginia attorney Patience Alexander, JD, MBA, LLM (Tax), as a pro bono favor to the League.

These fact sheets are appropriate for both lay people and professionals. Please share them with your attorney and other pet owners you know.

Providing for Your Pets’ Care When You Can No Longer Care for Them

Pet Trusts

Please feel free to contact the Development Office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 202-375-7756 for further information.

Guardian Angels Program

Many of us worry about what might happen to our companion animals should we become unable to care for them.  We may not know anyone who is willing and able to provide a good alternative home for our beloved canine and feline family members.  Now, the Washington Animal Rescue League’s Guardian Angels program can help by finding new caretakers for the pets of donors who are either incapacitated or deceased.  For more information, please visit

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