As a pet owner, you want to ensure your pet is cared for after you are gone. This is done by creating a Pet Trust as part of your estate plan.
Pet trusts are legal devices that allow you to select a caretaker to care for your pet after you pass away. The funds in the Pet Trust are used to care for your pet, and to compensate the trustee for his efforts. A Pet Trust will ensure that your pet receives the proper food, housing, veterinarian care, and kennel care after you are gone.
How does A Pet Trust Work?
This type of trust takes effect when you are gone. There are several issues to decide in every pet trust. Choosing the caretaker is always the most important decision you have to make. This person will have custody of your pet and will be responsible for the day-to-day care. Do not assume the person you want to name is willing to take on this responsibility. Always ask. Name an alternate as well, in case your first choice can not take the pet when the time comes.
You can estimate how much the caretaker will need to take care of your pets. The appropriate amount varies widely depending on the pet’s age and condition. Pet trusts need to be very detailed when it comes to instructions for the caregiver. Owners often specify everything from favorite food and toys to sleeping arrangements. For your pet trust, you can designate someone to go to court and enforce the terms of the trust if necessary. This is the person who makes sure the trust money is being spent appropriately on the animal, and not for any other reason.
If you leave more money than is necessary for the care of your pet, it could go to a family member or a charity of your choice.
One very important feature of a pet trust is that it can take effect before your death, if you were to become incapacitated and unable to care for your dog. The caregiver you named could immediately take custody and control of your pets if necessary.
At First Class Counsel We Protect Your Pet’s Future Today
Disputes are common among family members and beneficiaries of an estate when a person leaves behind funds for a pet. From challenging the amount necessary for the animal’s care to claiming undue influence regarding the handling of funds.
We will guide you through every step when you want to leave money for your pets after you pass away.