As with estate planning for humans, creating a pet trust is designed to give owners peace of mind. To ensure that pets will be cared for in accordance with an owner’s wishes, owners should be sure to definitively detail their pet’s standard of living and nutritional and health care.
By Stephen K Lehnardt
Although pets are a beloved part of one's family, in the eyes of the law they are merely viewed as another form of property. This can make planning for the care of your pet difficult after you’re gone. While you can’t leave an inheritance to a pet, when including a “pet trust” as part of your estate plan you can provide for their care when you’re not there to provide it yourself.
“Pet trusts” have a decidedly less serious ring about them than a “Grantor Retained Annuity Trust.” Legal jargon aside, pet trusts can be plenty useful little devices for a common problem, especially amongst elderly pet lovers. In fact, a recent article in the Millionaire Corner considers a pet trust an estate planning basic. The article, titled “Estate Planning Basics: Creating a Pet Trust,” offers some practical pointers to consider.
Pets sometimes outlive their masters, and this fact of life is worthy of proper legal attention. What happens when there isn’t a family member or friend to step up and take the animal? What if there is a potential caretaker, but that person simply cannot afford to care for your pet? By establishing a pet trust as part of your estate plan, you can set aside funds exclusively for the care of your pet, the caretaker and your own peace of mind.
Setting up a trust doesn’t need to be too difficult, but it does take some preparation and foresight to keep it running efficiently when needed. You’ll want an experience estate planning attorney to create a pet trust as part of your estate plan.
For more information in Liberty, MO and the Kansas City Area about pet trusts and other aspects of effective estate planning and to access free information and tools to organize your estate, visit our elder law and estate planning website.
Reference: Millionaire Corner (April 28, 2014) “Estate Planning Basics: Creating a Pet Trust”