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Who Will Take Care of Your Pets?

Make a plan for your furry and feathered friends in case something happens to you

Elizabeth Forman and her husband, David Closky, of Oxford, Ohio, incorporated the care of their pets into their estate planning five years ago. They have four Weimaraners, a bullmastiff and three parrots.

"We have arranged for good friends to come and live in our house to care for our pets should something happen to us," Forman says. "We put in money every single month to pay for pet care and our bank manages the money. We feel good that we have taken care of all the loose ends in our lives."

The 2nd Chance 4 Pets website contains information, forms and pet resources, as does the Providing for Your Pet online page of the New York City Bar Association. You can also check out PetGuardian Pet Trust Plans. These resources range from the basic information you need to set up arrangements on your own, to having your attorney draw up legal instructions to having a pet trust set up on your behalf.

Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian," is the resident veterinarian for Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. His latest book, Your Dog: The Owner's Manual, will be published in April of this year. Find him in the AARP PetPals forum of AARP.org.

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