Unleash Creative Planning Ideas for Clients With Pets

By: Veronica K. Cerruti
– Thomson Reuter's Estate Planning Journal

Many clients have pets. How many practitioners, however, routinely ask clients if they would like to include provisions for their pets in their estate planning documents? Some estate planners may laugh at this concept, but Americans are serious about their pets, and the pet industry itself is a multibillion-dollar business. In 2014, approximately 68% of U.S. households hosted one or more pets. Americans served as guardians of 56.7 million dogs, 45.3 million cats, 6.9 million birds, 2.8 million horses, and over 12 million other small animals, including fish and reptiles. Pet expenditures (including pet food, pet purchases, supplies and medicine, pet services, and veterinarian services) are estimated to total $58.51 billion for 2014, an increase of approximately $2 billion over 2013 figures.

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