Pet Trusts: The Basics

After you pass on, you might want to leave your belongings to your family and/or friends. You might think you have everyone accounted for, but there is a member of the family you may have forgotten about; the family pet. Yes, you can leave a trust to your pet.

What is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust should be created by an experienced pet trust attorney. Basically, a pet trust should provide the pet with a source of income and assets that will be used to care for your pet after you pass. The agreement should include very specific instructions on how to care for your pet. You can assign a trustee to your pet trust. The trustee will be required to make sure your pet’s trust is carried out as intended.

Types of Pet Trusts

When you are considering having a pet trust written, the first step will be to determine what type of trust is best for your pet. The more common type of pet trust is called a traditional pet trust. This type of trust is accepted in every state. The trust is intended to provide owners with control over the future of their pet’s life.

The other type of pet trust is called a statutory pet trust. This type of trust is very basic and leaves the care of the pet to be determined by state laws. If you intend on providing for your pet’s financial future and that’s all, this is the right choice for you. Statutory pet trusts are recognized in most states.

 Can I Just Address my Pet in a Will?

Yes, you can address your pet in your will. The only difference here is that you can only assign a caregiver to the pet. Once the caregiver takes control of your pet, they are not held to any requirements that may have been included in the will.

If you are planning your estate and care about the future of your pet, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.