One of the challenges that senior citizens face is loneliness. At some point in time your children are gone and your grandchildren are busy with their own lives and you may lose your husband or wife. You may then find yourself spending a lot of time on your own and want a dog, cat, or other pet to provide you some company.
In addition to serving as loving companions, pets provide countless hours of entertainment. Some can be very good protectors, even if they just bark when they hear unusual noises outside the door. And because pets need your care and attention, pet ownership can give you an added sense of purpose as you have a new “dependent” of sorts in the home.
If you have a dog, it will need to get out and get some exercise, and this can give you some much-needed exercise as well. So there are physical as well as mental and emotional health benefits to pet ownership for seniors.
However, if you do become a pet owner when you are older it is possible that your pet will outlive you so you have to make plans for the pet’s care after you pass away. Most people have a family member or friend who loves animals so there is often a good caretaker willing to take over for you if it becomes necessary.
Once you know who is going to take care of the pet, you have to make financial provisions. One option would be to leave a direct bequest to the caretaker in your will or money in trust to pay for the financial burden of caring for the pet.
To learn more about pet planning, get in touch with an experienced estate planning lawyer to arrange for an informative consultation.