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Do you need to establish a pet trust?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Many people have prized animals that they keep as both pets and assets. They may have a dog that is a national dog show winner or an animal that has taken the internet by storm and gained unimaginable fame.

When you have a pet that is so valuable to you, it’s a good idea to provide for them in your estate plan. One of the ways you can do this is with a pet trust.

What is a pet trust?

In the simplest terms, a pet trust is a trust that holds money and other assets on behalf of your pet. You may establish a caretaker for your pet and provide details on how they must be cared for. When you fund the trust, you may add funding to help with vet bills or the cost of raising your pet after you’re gone.

You can also include your pet’s toys or trophies, for example. Overall, the trust is used to establish care for your pet if you cannot take care of them yourself.

Providing for your pet after your incapacity or death

It is possible to provide for your pet after your incapacity or death, and a pet trust is a way to do so. To get started, you will want to determine who is going to be the guardian of your pet when you can no longer take care of them. You might choose a relative or a close friend, for example.

Once you find a guardian, you can establish a trust that is funded with enough money or assets to provide for your pet. You should consider adding additional funding for the caretaker. For example, you may have the trust pay out $10,000 annually to the guardian as a way to say thank you for taking on this role.

You may leave instructions for the caretaker. You can establish requirements, too. You may ask that they take your pet to the vet twice annually, for example. If they don’t follow through, you could also include penalties, such as giving up a portion of the payout they would have received.

A pet trust could be helpful in your situation. If you want to protect your pet, it’s one option to consider in your estate plan.