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Have You Considered a Pet Trust When Setting Up Your Estate Planning?

If you are a loving owner of a cherished pet, it's likely that you have already worried about what might happen to Fido or Fluffy after you're gone. Companion animals provide their owners with unconditional love and devotion, so it's only natural that pet owners would want to ensure their pets are cared for.

A pet trust is one option to consider as part of your overall estate plan. Interested? Read on to learn more.

What are pet trusts?

Much like trusts for human beneficiaries, pet trusts are funded to provide for the care and needs of companion animals when the grantor dies. Some can be structured to take effect even prior to the individual's death, e.g., when he or she becomes incapacitated.

A trustee is appointed to oversee the trust. The trustee may be the person physically caring for the animals or a neutral third party who allocates funds to the caregiver as needed for the pets. The trust typically will be extinguished upon the animal's death. Any remaining funds can then be disbursed as the grantor sees fit.

Trusts can be tailored to your pet

Does Fido only like to nosh on Kibbles 'n Bits? Does Fluffy do best when examined by a certain veterinarian? This can be stipulated in the trust for your pet. You can even specify that your dog be taken to the dog park on certain days for a romp and to the groomer on a set schedule.

Another thing to address in a pet trust is end-of-life care. If you want to ensure that your pet doesn't suffer needlessly, you can describe the conditions under which euthanasia should be performed.

When you're addressing your estate-planning needs, be sure to ask about structuring a pet trust to care for your animal friends.  To learn more, contact the Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222 and ask to speak with one of our Estate Planning attorneys.

Source: ASPCA, "Pet Trust Primer," accessed May 04, 2018

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