No one likes to talk about it, but if you suddenly die, who will take care of your animals? Don't assume your family or friends will take in your pets when you are gone. Many animals end up at shelter when their person passes away and their chances of being adopted, depending on breed, age and health, are probably not good.
I have actually known people who wanted their beloved pet killed after they die. Sure, seems a little crazy but would you want to see your pet at the shelter? Not that I endorse this extremism. Btw, even if that is in a person's will, it can't be legally enforced. But just the fact that someone would suggest such a thing underlines how important the issue really is to most of us who have animals as part of our family..
Your best bet is being prepared. Ask people you know who would want your dog, cat, fish, etc. Make an agreement with the person and make sure it is someone on whom you can rely. You can even go to the next level and put it in writing and make it a legal agreement. Some folks even create a trust for their pets.
Whatever you do, do something. Don't leave it up to chance what can happen to your animals when you are gone. It's your responsibility to look out for your pets, whether you are around or not!
These are articles on planning for your pets in case you die:
lifestyle/estate-planning- dogs-pets-wills-trusts-die- unexpectedly
This is a rescue that specializes in taking people's pets when they die:http://www.