Providing for Children and Pets in a Will

31 Jan

Metro®Boston, Publication Date: February 1, 2012
By: George Warshaw

Last week I wrote about the basics in preparing a Will.

Now, what about providing for your children and pets?

Pets are simpler to plan. Most people, however, in preparing a Will overlook them completely. That’s not the way to reward your devoted companion!

At a minimum, it’s important to list several choices as your pet’s future caretaker, since your first choice may not be available then or in the future. And don’t forget to provide some money for your pet’s future care.

Children are more complicated. There are three issues: guardianship, funding and planning their future.

Who will raise your children – and who are your first and second choices as substitute parents (i.e. guardians)?

Secondly, where will the money come from to help raise them, and do you want to provide economic incentives to encourage their personal growth and development?

This is part of your core planning.

I’m a believer in creating separate trusts for children and pets that provide for their future needs. A stand-alone children’s trust is a great planning opportunity that can better assure their education and future.

Next week, more on trusts for children and how you can accomplish specific goals. © 2012 George Warshaw.


George Warshaw is a real estate and estate planning attorney in Massachusetts. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts for individuals and families. George welcomes new clients and questions at

Legal Advice: Laws, and court decisions interpreting them, change frequently and this article is not updated as laws change. The content and information contained in this article is neither intended as legal advice nor shall establish an attorney-client relationship.

Before making any legal decision, consult an attorney to see how the foregoing may apply to your circumstances.


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