Do I need an attorney to create a Pet Protection Agreement®?
No, you do not need an attorney to prepare a Pet Protection Agreement(R). LegalZoom makes it easy to create a Pet Protection Agreement(R) from your home or office. However, if you are unsure about your needs and require legal advice for your specific circumstances, we recommend that you seek a qualified attorney who specializes in animal law.
How much money should I leave to my pets?
Leaving money for your pets' care is optional. However, if you do decide to leave funds, consider these factors: How many pets are covered by the Pet Protection Agreement(R)? What type of pets are they? How long are they expected to live? Is the Pet Guardian going to be compensated from the remaining funds after the pets pass, or should the Pet Guardian receive monthly or yearly compensation?
What other legal documents are included with the Pet Protection Agreement®?
LegalZoom's Pet Protection Agreement(R) includes a Limited Health Care Proxy as well as a Limited Power of Attorney. In case you are injured or in an accident, the Limited Health Care Proxy allows your Pet Guardian to obtain those medical records needed to prove that you are unable to provide for your pet's care. The Limited Power of Attorney then allows the Pet Guardian to act on your behalf - for example, taking the pets to the veterinarian or accessing your bank account to pay for the care of your pets.
What's the difference between a Pet Protection Agreement® and a Pet Trust?
Like a Pet Protection Agreement(R), a stand-alone Pet Trust is a legal document used to ensure that your pets are cared for in case you pass away or become unable to take care of your pets. However, stand-alone pet trust has more formalities and should be created by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and has special experience in pet issues.

If a pet owner plans to leave a substantial amount of money for the care of pets or believes that family members may put up a fight, then a formal stand-alone pet trust can be a good option. Statutory pet trusts can be created through a Last Will, but they often include only basic, limited provisions.
Documents Statutory Pet Trust (Created by Last Will) Pet Trust (Formal Stand-Alone) PET PROTECTION AGREEMENT
Legal in all states No Yes Yes
Affordable, can be created without an attorney Not usually No Yes
Enforceable during Pet Owner's lifetime No Yes Yes
Binding care instructions No Yes Yes
Service, Medical providers & Community of care No Yes Yes
Keeps pets together Not always Yes Yes
Signed by Pet Guardian so as to confirm agreement No Yes Yes
Can be created without trust funds Yes No Yes
Any funds must be used for pets Not always Yes Yes
What makes a Pet Protection Agreement® legal?
A Pet Protection Agreement(R) is a contract between the Pet Owner and the Pet Guardian. The signature of both parties on the agreement makes it legal.
Who should I name as the Pet Guardian?
Since the Pet Guardian will adopt your pets and take care of them if you pass away or become unable to care for them, you should name someone you trust and believe will do a good job. The Pet Guardian must sign the Pet Protection Agreement(R) for it to be effective. Therefore, you will need to discuss the appointment with him or her and decide whether the proposed Pet Guardian has the time and resources.

Also, consider naming a shelter, sanctuary or other organization of "last resort" in case no one else is available to become the Pet Guardian.
Why should I make a Pet Protection Agreement®?
A Pet Protection Agreement(R) ensures continuing care for your pets if you pass away or become unable to take care of them on your own. It's a comprehensive set of instructions for your appointed Pet Guardian to follow which ensures that your pets receive the standard of care that they're accustomed to.

Without a Pet Protection Agreement(R), a judge will have to decide who is responsible for your pets. This could take months, even years. This could have a devastating impact on your pets.