I don’t know where everyone lives, but in central Illinois it has turned into Fall. The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing and Halloween is upon us. I love Halloween with all of the treats, costumes and scary movies. It begs the question, what would happen to Linus and Lila if I were suddenly being chased by some crazy psychopath with a chain saw and mask? They run much faster than I do.
I’m making a joke, but it is a serious topic that requires planning and conversations because we can’t predict the future. It is a scenario that we see all too often in rescue unfortunately. Pets lose their owners and family members are trying to figure out what to do. It isn’t something we like to think about, but the thought of any of my dogs, current or future, without a place to go scares me.
Linus and Lila were both adopted from English Springer Rescue America (ESRA). The adoption contract with ESRA states that they are to be returned to ESRA if the adopter is no longer able to care for them for any reason. Because of this provision, I’ve made it a point to ensure my family knows the terms of the contract and how to get in touch with ESRA. My previous springers were not adopted by ESRA but I know that ESRA would have found them wonderful loving homes if my family could not have cared for them.
When I met with an attorney a few years ago as part of my estate planning, she helped me write my will so that my current dogs (and any future dogs) would also be provided for financially from my estate. I want to know that my dogs will be taken care of in the manner I would care for them. I also do not want to cause any kind of financial burden for my family if they open their homes to my most loved Springers.
I feel that my bases are pretty well covered for my own dogs, but did you know that its possible to continue to help Springers even after you’re no longer around? It’s true. You can arrange in your estate planning documents to provide a bequest (gift) to ESRA. I always seem to think that only the rich and famous leave bequests, but that is a common misconception and I’ve discovered that bequests are happening more frequently, in all kinds of amounts. There are lots of reasons to leave a bequest, such as:
- It is an opportunity to continue to support the future sustainability of ESRA
- You can continue to make a difference and enrich the lives of Springers and Springer-lovers
- Your values, beliefs and love of Springers will live on in the memories of those you support.
If you haven’t thought about this topic or want to revisit your estate planning, here are a few things to consider:
- Communicate your wishes with your loved ones regarding the care of your current dogs. Be sure they are aware of ESRA, whether your dog was adopted from ESRA or not.
- Consider speaking with an attorney about setting up a pet trust if you want to leave funds specifically for the care of your own Springer.
- Consider leaving a bequest as a way to ensure that Springers continue to find loving homes and create lasting memories.
For additional information about leaving a bequest to ESRA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org