The Dangers of Informal Pet Care Agreements

dog staring at ball contemplating who will take care of him

You may have heard the news that 92% of American pet-owning households do not have an estate plan that contains provisions specifically concerning their pets. Many of these unprotected households are, wittingly or unwittingly, placing their bet on another family member or close friend jumping in to take over the responsibility, should the need arise. While that strategy works in some cases, responsible pet owners can do better to avoid the dangers of informal pet care arrangements.

Even if you’ve had a verbal conversation with someone you trust about caring for your pet – and all the more so if you have not – informal pet care arrangements fall short of written agreements in a number of ways.

X Does not guarantee anything

X Not legally enforceable

X Caretaker may not accept the responsibility

X May provoke questions of ownership in the event that multiple people want to care for pet

X Less likely to provide sufficient instructions for proper care

X Does not provide funds to support the continued care and comfort of your pet

Avoid Dangers of Informal Arrangements with a Pet Protection Plan

A Pet Protection Plan offers a superior approach. It is a legally enforceable document through which you can designate who should look after your pet in the event of an emergency and detail proper care instructions. Moreover, a properly drafted Pet Protection Plan can deliver virtually all the benefits of a pet trust without the assistance and cost of hiring an attorney.

At Just In Case Estates, our Pet Protection Plans include five essential components:

  1. Identification of Pets: we’ll record the names of your pets and any other identifiable features that first responders to an emergency might use to locate them
  2. Designation of Primary and Backup Guardians: you will appoint a trusted individual who will physically assume care of your pets if and when you are no longer able to fulfill that role
  3. Veterinarian Contact Details: we’ll record the name and contact information for your pets’ veterinarian, who the guardian may contact and rely on to assist with certain medical care for the pets
  4. Medicine and Allergy Information: we’ll record any special medical needs that your pet may have
  5. Diet and Exercise Plans: does your dog love daily romps on the beach? Is your cat a picky eater? Whatever the keys to satisfying your pet companion may be, we’ll make sure that those instructions are available for your pet guardian

For responsible pet owners, there’s no better way to keep your pet safe than with a Pet Protection Plan. And with Just In Case Estates, you can create yours today for free.


Just In Case Estates is an online service providing legal forms and information. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, please use our legal expert matching service to connect with a qualified, licensed estate planning attorney near you.