For many of us, our pets are more than friends and companions; they are part of the family. Providing for pets in your estate plan can ensure that they will have a safe home and will be well taken care of when you can no longer do so. Since 2009, any pet or domestic animal can be provided for in a trust, just like any other member of your family! Your trust will be enforceable until all of your pet-beneficiaries have passed away, even if you own long-lived parrots or tortoises! A “Pet Trust” can be easily added to your existing living trust, revocable trusts, or other estate planning documents, or a separate trust can be drafted. Outright bequests or gifts to the caretaker of your pet may also be an option.
In a “Pet Trust” you will name the trustee who will act as the caretaker of your pets, you can outline specific care that is required, and you will need to determine the necessary funds to take care of the your pet, including compensation to the trustee. We can assist you in determining what an appropriate amount will be to provide the type of care your pet deserves.
Because you love your pets and other animals so much, you may also wish to consider special bequests for animal care charities or naming organizations like your local Humane Society or animal shelter as a secondary beneficiary to your pet’s trust.
If you have any questions please give us a call.
Law Offices of James F. Miller, P.C.