Understanding a Pet Power of Attorney

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Since pets are considered property under U.S law, it’s important to put in place legal protections so that in an emergency your pet won’t be treated just like any old piece of furniture, but with the love and care they deserve.

You can do this by creating a Pet Power of Attorney. A Pet Power of Attorney is a fairly new concept but has become more popular in recent times. Your Pet Power of Attorney can cover items including but not limited to veterinary care, food, and grooming. There are two main types of Pet Powers of Attorney, a Limited Pet Power of Attorney and a Durable one.

“Limited” Pet Power of Attorney

As the name suggests, the power of attorney is only for a set duration of time. You should choose this document if you are going away for a trip in case your pet sitter may need to take your pet to the vet.

“Durable” Pet Power of Attorney

This form of power is a permanent power to care for your pets. It is not limited by time, and takes effect immediately by default. This is a good choice for people you already know and trust to care for your pets, like a close friend or relative.

The pet care agent you name is responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out, which can include important financial decisions related to your pet’s care. This person does not have to be responsible for the physical care of your pet(s) beyond delivering them to their final caretaker(s). They also don’t necessarily have to be the person who watches your pets, that person can be a separate person known as a “caretaker” or pet sitter.

The caretaker is the person or facility who will be responsible for your pet’s care until the pet dies. You may also name the same person as both an agent and a caretaker if you wish. You grant your pet care agent full power and authority to make health care decisions for your pet(s), including the power to consent to or withdraw any type of care or medical treatment for any medical condition. Your agent may also admit or discharge your animal(s) from any hospital, clinic or other institution.

Be aware that you may not name a health care provider who may be directly or indirectly involved in rendering health care to your animal(s) as the pet care agent. For instance, you cannot name your pet’s veterinarian as your pet’s agent.

Finally, know that a durable Pet Power of Attorney remains valid until it is revoked, and a limited one remains valid until it expires or is revoked. You may revoke or update your Pet Power of Attorney at any time.

Once your Pet Power of Attorney document is signed, you should present it to your agent(s), caretaker(s), and your pet’s veterinarian.

Gentreo makes it easy for you to create a Pet Power of Attorney. Create a Pet Power of Attorney on Gentreo today.


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