Who will care for your pets upon your death or during a medical emergency when you are unable to care for them yourself?
A Pet Guardianship Agreement is one document that should be included in an estate plan along with your Will, Trust, and/or Power of Attorney.
Explain your wishes for who and how your pets should be cared for when the time comes.
1. Fully identify each pet. This basic document includes provisions for up to three pets. Include special instructions, such as medication or a specific form of exercise.
2. Name a primary and alternate/successor guardian for each pet. An option is included for the same guardian to take all your animals.
3. Pick an animal shelter or organization, as a last resort, to take your pets if nobody is willing to honor your wishes.
4. Arrange for the appointed guardians to receive money to care for your pets. These guardians would keep any remaining money after each pet's death.
5. Identify your veterinarian, so that each guardian has access to medical records, continuing treatment, or medication.
6. Determine whether each guardian has authority for euthanasia to be performed.
7. Provide instructions for what happens after each pet's death, such as burial arrangements.
8. List up to three trusted relationships (i.e. dog walker, groomer, day care facility) so that the guardians know who you trust.
9. Each guardian must sign the document and consent to take legal responsibility for your pets.
10. Two witnesses need to watch you sign the document, and sign it themselves.
11. The document is legal after it is signed. However, it is advised to have every page of the agreement individually notarized along with a notarized affidavit from each appointed guardian for the best possible protection to have your wishes honored.
Two versions of this pet guardianship agreement is available: (1) A version where only a signature is required; and (2) a notarized version where each page is individually notarized along with a single-page guardian affidavit to be notarized by each appointed guardian.
The non-notarized version includes a single-page notarized affidavit for the Pet Owner. Consider the example where you want to achieve peace of mind and complete a non-notarized version of the Pet Guardianship Agreement as quick as possible without arranging four other people, at minimum, to meet you at a currency exchange. After the agreement is witnessed and signed, you have a valid document that hopefully nobody will challenge in the future. For added protection, you can notarize one piece of paper that summarizes the agreement. This includes the names of each pet and their guardians, names of the two witnesses, and date of the agreement. Now you have a notarized affidavit to add to the non-notarized version of the Pet Guardianship Agreement for better protection than just a non-notarized guardianship agreement.
When planning for how your pets will be cared for upon your death or your own inability to care for them, you need to consider every possibility. This includes making a Will and having a Power Attorney for financial decisions.
A signed pet guardianship agreement is better than nothing. A notarized version is the best possible protection. However, without a Will, your family could challenge your intentions to give the pet guardians money for their care. Without a Power of Attorney, your appointed guardians may not have any access to your financial accounts.
A Pet Guardianship Agreement is a good idea to protect your pets. It allows you to pick who should take responsibility for them. You don't want your pets taken to an animal shelter because your family was fighting over your estate. Somebody could claim a verbal promise from you. Without a written agreement, anybody could simply take the pets, including those who you would never approve.
Without a pet guardianship agreement, there is nothing you can do to protect your beloved pets.
The seller of this package, Michael E. Byczek, has been a licensed Illinois attorney since 2007.
Disclaimer: This package is intended for residents in Illinois. Those outside Illinois may refer to the documents and instructions for reference to write their pet guardianship agreement themselves that comply with their own local laws. The documents are Illinois-specific.
The documents will be emailed via PDF to the email address listed in the receipt after the transaction is complete and payment received. If the receipt does not provide a valid email address, the purchaser may need to contact Michael E. Byczek since it is possible that all direct contact information might be blocked for privacy reasons by PayPal.
You shall receive the PDF documents within 1-2 business days.
Legal services are not provided as part of this package. Michael E. Byczek does not represent you and will not provide any legal advice or assistance. Legal services are available for an additional fee, which requires an attorney-client agreement.
The documents are provided for personal non-commercial use.
Michael E. Byczek
Attorney at Law
Chicago, IL (USA)
Online Store: http://www.byczeklaw.com
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