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For many of us, pets are more than just animals; they are our companions, best friends, and members of our families. Because we care so deeply for these animals, many of us worry about what would happen to our pets if we were to pass away before they do. Who would care for them? And how would that caretaker access and pay for our pets’ needs? 

To help alleviate this uncertainty, Santa Barbara Humane has partnered with FreeWill to offer free, quick, and accessible estate planning services. In just about twenty minutes, pet owners can gain peace of mind by setting up a legally binding will or a revocable living trust that includes language about provisions for their pets. Those who cannot make private arrangements with family or friends to care for their pets can indicate that their animals will be entrusted to Santa Barbara Humane. 

“We know this isn’t the type of resource people are used to seeing from Santa Barbara Humane,” said Chief Philanthropy Officer Paige Van Tuyl, “but estate planning is especially important for pet owners. By creating a will and trust, they are ensuring that their pet will be taken care of, no matter what happens.” 

The free estate planning tools from Santa Barbara Humane and FreeWill are available to everyone – not just pet owners. Through this new partnership, anyone interested in setting up their legacy through a will or living trust can access the FreeWill platform at 

Those who choose to include a planned gift to Santa Barbara Humane in their estate will be invited to the organization’s newly formed 1887 Legacy Circle. Members of this exclusive group will have the option to be publicly recognized in Santa Barbara Humane’s Annual Report, website, and physical signage. They will also receive a custom pin and VIP access and recognition at Santa Barbara Humane events, including the inaugural SB Humane Gala which will be held on Saturday, September 9 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. 

More information about planned giving, the 1887 Legacy Circle, and the no-cost FreeWill resources can be found on Santa Barbara Humane’s website,


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