No one wants to think about what happens after death, but it's important to start making plans for your loved ones now. You don't have children, but you do have a faithful pet who has been your companion and loved you for years. What happens if you pass away without a plan in place for him? He has no home or person to take care of him.
A pet trust eliminates this concern. It's legally enforceable and guarantees your pet has the financial support and care he needs. You can provide assets and financial support for your pet's care, indicate who you want to take care of your pet and arrange other important parts of your pet's care.
How long do pet trusts last?
Most pet trusts have a completion date with a maximum of 21 years. Most pets, except for horses, parrots, tortoises and a few others, typically have relatively short lifespans. This means that 21 years should cover the full life of your pet. The trust also ends when the pet dies.
Why choose a pet trust?
Pet trusts are enforceable by law, which means that whatever is stated in the trust will occur. Your trust may be as specific as you want. For instance, you may indicate that you want your dog to see the vet two times a year and receive dental work, or you might state that he should only receive a special kind of food.
You may state who you want to have take care of your pet and even provide a stipend to that person for doing so. You could consider writing the habits of your pet in the trust file as well, along with a note about caring for him.
What should you do to make sure the trust is accurate?
First, make sure your pet is identifiable. Use a microchip, DNA samples or other information to describe your pet accurately in the trust. Next, describe how you care for your pet and what you would like to see continue. It's important to require inspections, which allow the trustee to check on the health and status of your pet.
When you create the trust, determine how much money is necessary to pay for vet bills and other care over the course of your pet's life. If you include more than enough, designate a beneficiary for the remaining funds when the pet trust expires. Additionally, give instructions on how you want your pet to be buried or cremated after death. Some people prefer cremation, while others accept a burial.
A pet trust gives you peace of mind in knowing that your pet will have the care he needs after your death or when you no longer can take care of him yourself. Your attorney can help you draw up the documents to protect your furry friend.