Those of us who enjoy owning a horse or pony understand and accept the time, emotional and financial commitments that these four-hooved family members can be. BUT…how many times have you heard heart breaking stories of a person passing away and their family and friends having to frantically search to find a proper home for the horse(or pony)left behind?
When someone dies – especially unexpectedly – quickly finding an acceptable home for that person’s displaced cat or dog is typically difficult enough; it is even more difficult to do with a horse. The average person typically just does not have the barn and acreage necessary to shelter and properly support a horse. Moreover, it takes a special kind of person that is ready, willing, and able to rise daily at 4:00 a.m. to trudge through all kinds of weather to feed and otherwise care for the horse–whether it is in the front yard or at some other limited boarding facility. For these reasons a deceased’s beloved horse all too frequently end sup in the wrong hands or in dire straits because its owner failed to properly plan for the horse’s care in the event of the owner’s demise –or significant disability.
Think about this: while your spouse, parent, or even your child might be more than willing to accept and care for the family dog, or maintain the valuable antique car, are they ready and able to take on the massive responsibility of caring for your horse?Do they have not only the time and space to care for the horse, but also the funds necessary for feed, veterinarian and farrier fees, etc.?Do you have a family member or friend who would be willing and able to take the horse, and care for it as you have? Has your estate plan provided adequate financial resources for your horse’s designated caregiver to use in the care of your horse upon your disability or after your death?
These are important questions that all of us who own and love horses need to properly address in advance of a significant disability or untimely death. Contact Julianne Cyr, long time horse enthusiast and partner with the law firm of Miller Walsh & Kutz PLLC, to discuss your estate plan to ensure that ALL of your family members–including the four legged and hoofed ones -are properly cared for when you can no longer do so yourself.