No one will ever be as fully dependent on you as your companion animals or pets. Young children obviously need the support and protection of parents, but they will mature out of that need and move on to live independent lives eventually.
Your pet will never be able to take care of themselves without a human to help support them. Many people just assume that their loved ones will take care of their pet when they die, but others often view an inherited animal as a burden, not a blessing.
Have you considered specifically planning to protect your pet if you die before they do?
A pet trust offers optimal protection
Even if one of your family members does take your cat, dog, parrot or another pet in after your death, there is no guarantee that they would continue to support the animal rather than euthanize it. If you leave behind assets for the care of the animal, people could use that property for personal gain instead of for your pet’s veterinary and nutritional needs.
It is tragically common for people to surrender or put down an animal that once provided a loved one with support and companionship. If you create a pet trust, you could set aside assets to cover the care of your pet. You can also name a trustee who can provide oversight to ensure that the person who takes care of the animal doesn’t mistreat the pet or misappropriate those resources.
A little bit of foresight when estate planning can go a long way toward ensuring the pet you love so deeply has someone who loves them after you die.