ASPCA Pushing Trusts for Your Pet
Pet group recommends legal protection for Mr. Whiskers after owner's death
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2012 11:03 AM CDT
Cats, dogs, and other pets need legal protection for after their owners pass away, says the ASPCA, which is introducing a convenient new legal document to help.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – We spend our lives spoiling our pets—to the tune of $53 billion this year, by one estimate—but what about what happens after that? Animals are considered property, not family, so if you pass away, pets can be in trouble. That's why the ASPCA and online legal-documents provider LegalZoom.com are teaming up to create the Pet Protection Agreement, a legal document to protect your pets when you no longer can, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The form costs between $39 and $79—of which, the ASPCA gets up to 15%—and it designates a new guardian for your pets, provides for funds to ensure they are taken care of, and lists other caregivers, such as vets or groomers. But lawyers recommend against giving money directly to Fido; it's much safer to create a trust instead, especially for amounts of $25,000 or more.