What happens to the ownership of a pet when the owner dies?

////What happens to the ownership of a pet when the owner dies?


My neighbor recently died and had a dog that her caregiver was taking care of for her. My neighbor told the caregiver she wanted her to keep the dog if something happened to her, but now her son wants the dog. He is an alcoholic and will not take care of the animal. The caregiver has had the dog since December and takes it to the groomer and takes really good care of the dog. No written agreement was made about the dog just verbal. Can the caregiver keep the dog?


I suggest that the caregiver consult with an attorney to plan next steps. If the dog was given away to the caregiver prior to the death of the dog’s owner, the caregiver would generally have rights to the dog. If, however, the caregiver was just watching the dog for the dog’s owner and during such time the dog’s owner died, typically the provision of the will or trust would determine who gets the dog and if there is no will or trust, the decedent’s heirs would generally have rights to the dog. I hope this all works out for the dog.

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By |2019-06-21T11:22:02-04:00June 10th, 2019|