Recently, we wrote a post on trusts and whether or not they might be the right for you. Now that you might have a better understanding of trusts, you should know about the importance of one specific trust for an important member of your family: your pet.

Similar to a traditional trust, pet trusts allow you to pass on money to your pet after you have passed away. This is important because naming your pet in your will does not always allow this to happen. Courts generally consider pets as one of your personal assets. While a will can allow you to name who your pet will go to after you are gone, a will generally does not allow you to pass on assets to an animal.

The trustee will manage the assets for your pet, as they would a beneficiary in a traditional trust. The trustee is responsible for allocating the funds to your pet’s new owner to help care for your pet. In your pet trust, it is important to clarify how often you want the trustee to communicate with the the new owner.

A pet trust will also allow you to provide instructions for your pet’s passing. For instance, if you wish to have your pet cremated or buried, you can put that in the trust. Additionally, it is important to decide what will happen to any remaining funds in the trust after your pet dies. Will they go to the caretaker or do you want to leave them to charity?

Legal counsel understands that a pet is one of the most important members of your family. If you are considering a pet trust, consider speaking to an attorney to help make sure your pet is taken care of when you are gone.