What is a Pet Trust?

Pets play essential roles in our lives. They provide companionship, comfort, and entertainment. Pets are also often working animals or used in an occupation like farming. Many people treat pets as members of their family. Pets are taken on family trips and included in holiday celebrations. However pets are often overlooked when we consider estate planning.

If you consider your pets as family members you should consider planning for them in the same way that you plan for your other family members. There are several ways to include your pets in your estate plans including pet trusts for when you die or if you become disabled. By having a properly prepared pet trust you can have peace of mind about the well being and future care of your pets.

A pet trust is a legal document designed to manage assets for your pet by someone you choose. The pet trust will ensure a happy, safe life for your pet should something happen to you. One of the main benefits of a pet trust is that it can take effect at the moment of your death or disability. A pet trust will also avoid the costs and delays of Probate.

Pet trusts are especially popular for horse owners due to horses’ long lifespan. But, the possibility that your dogs, cats and other domestic animals will survive you is very real.

A trust lets you direct the level of care that your pet will receive. You may instruct the caregiver on a number of issues including exercise, diet, veterinary treatment, and caregiver compensation. You can designate different people to handle the financial responsibilities and the actual care of your pet to make sure that the caregiver follows through on their obligations and properly uses the funds for your pet.

While gifting your pet through a will lets you know where they are going, a pet trust will give you peace of mind in not only knowing where your pet is going but also in knowing their exact level of care and the quality and direction of their life.

If you would like to make an appoint to discuss making provisions in your future planning for your pets, please contact my office at (734) 433-9490. I can counsel you on your options to make sure that your pets or working animals are properly taken care of when you can no longer do so.

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