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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