How to Protect Your Horse If They Outlive You

Posted by Allie Layos
Woman and horse silhouette

No one likes to think about death, but horses can outlive their owners, and it is important to ensure they will be properly cared for if this happens. 

Thankfully the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) recently released a new publication, "Estate Planning: A Guide for Equine Owners," to help make this confusing process a little easier.

UHC Director Ashley Furst said in a recent press release:

"Unfortunately, the UHC receives quite a few calls about horses whose owners have passed away, and the next of kin or friend is unsure what exactly to do with the horse, or even lacks the knowledge to care for the horse. The UHC is often looked towards as a resource for information, so we felt publishing a guide to Estate Planning would help expand our message of what Owning Responsibly entails. While estate planning can certainly be a tough subject to talk about, we feel horse owners will find the brochure to be a very helpful guide when it comes to planning for the future."

Horses in stalls

The Estate Planning Guide covers the differences between setting up a trust versus simply naming the horses in your will. It also discusses the different types of trusts (testamentary and inter vivos), and other details, such as what to do about horse registration papers and medical records, equipment, land, and your equine business or farm. It covers some important estate planning tips and legal advice that will help comfort any horse person who worries about what will happen to their animals after they're gone.


"The UHC intends this to be a general guide for estate planning as it applies to your horses, and we certainly recommend contacting a knowledgeable equine attorney to guide you through the details of estate planning involving your equine," Furst said.

Woman with horses

Since horses can live 30 year or more, it's not uncommon that they outlive their owners. Just as you provide proper care for your horses during your life, it is important to have a plan set up for them following your death. For anyone wanting to learn more about this process, the brochure is available on the UHC's website and hard copies are also available upon request.

Have you made arrangements for your horse's care? Share your solutions below.

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How to Protect Your Horse If They Outlive You