Why I Will: Taylor McDonald, Partner & Dog Mom
For many young 20-something couples navigating through life, estate planning isn’t often a priority. Especially when you equate it with expensive lawyers and cumbersome in-person visits. Instead, conversations on future-planning typically happen after a specific event.
For Taylor McDonald and her partner, Joe, this event was learning the shocking statistics of how many pet owners are brutally unprepared for the future. In particular, only 7% of pet owners actually have a plan in place should anything happen to them that leaves them unable to care for their pet(s). As someone who always considered herself a very planned person, Taylor simply didn’t want to be part of the 93% who left their beloved pets’ future up to chance (and potentially the default rules of the province.)
Taylor and Joe started to grow their little family about a year ago when they decided to adopt a dog from a St. Lucia-based rescue called Helpaws. As soon as they saw a picture of Bindi wearing a little red bandana, that was it—they had to take her home. Little did they know they’d be welcoming a second pup, Rosie, into the family just a few months later. Although everyone (including themselves) thought they were a little crazy at first, they have loved every second of the wild ride and haven’t looked back.
Taylor is a self-described ‘excessive’ dog parent, which many can relate to. Bindi and Rosie get special meals and they take them almost everywhere with them including breweries, camping, and the cottage—they basically account for the majority of her paycheck. Which is probably why she hasn’t owned a new article of clothing since her dogs came into her life! Among the most ‘extra’ things she does for her dog is make them elaborate ‘Kong charcuterie boards’, which led to her Instagram account, @bindisbucketlist, becoming an overnight sensation.
With all the effort and expense Taylor and Joe put into giving their rescue dogs a dream furrever home, they never prioritized future planning in case something were to happen that left them unable to take care of Bindi and Rosie... until now. Taylor and Joe recently made their Wills with Epilogue to ensure a safe and secure future for their family and check this huge thing off their to-do list.
"Thinking about my little family, I knew I had to put something in place to protect them should anything ever happen to me," explains Taylor.
When it came time to choose a guardian for the dogs, there was no question it would be Taylor’s sister, Chloe. They called her to give her a heads up (since that isn’t something you’d want to surprise someone with,) and she happily accepted.
Taylor and Joe knew they wanted someone lined up to care for their dogs who shared their values. And it was extremely important that the dogs could stay together and would never be separated. Plus, Chloe adores the dogs just as much as they adore her.
When completing their Wills, they also decided to do their Powers of Attorney of Personal Care (POA-PC) which sparked some unexpected discussions around life support and end-of-life care. Despite being together for 8 years, both Taylor and Joe actually felt differently about what they would want to happen. Without preparing their POA-PCs, they never would have known they shared this difference of opinion.
With their Wills and POAs out of the way, Taylor and Joe can now continue on their journey through life’s chapters with peace-of-mind knowing they have their bases covered.
So, what’s next for this family of four? Some new digs! Taylor and Joe currently reside in Hamilton but are knee-deep in house hunting. They have no idea where they will end up next but knowing they can always log in to their Epilogue dashboard and update their Will anytime–with no hassle and free of charge–gives them the sense of security they didn’t even know they needed.
Taylor and Joe are a prime example that age is not a factor when it comes to making your Will. Especially, if you have anyone (K9 or human!) who relies on you for their survival and wellbeing. Because, at the end of the day, making a Will isn’t about you or what you have, it’s about the people (and pets) you love the most.