Can I Leave Everything I Have to My Dog?
Yes. You can start by setting up a Pet Trust. Once you have a pet trust, you can leave assets including money to be used for the care of your dog or other animal. This way you can make sure they have a good life after you die.
If you have pets, there is good reason to be concerned about what happens to the pet after you pass away. Often after the owners die, their heirs or even the executor of the owner's will surrender the animals to shelters. Sadly, many of them do not find new homes. Generally, family members are well intentioned and would like to ensure a better outcome for the animals, but simply may not be able to take care of them or find a suitable home. Especially if the pet is older, ill, or unusual--think of a macaw, which can live to age 80 or above--finding a new home can be very difficult.
If you set up a Pet Trust, you can provide for your pets to ensure they will have a home. This Trust is estate planning for pets. You can leave money in the Trust to be used exclusively for your pet, but you need to make sure you have an administrator who will handle the Trust. You can even, in your will, name a new owner for your pet. But if you do this, make sure that person consents to it and signs an acceptance.