A legal arrangement that stipulates how animal companions can be taken cared of or cared for financially if you become disabled or ill or pass away is a pet trust. This is necessary especially if you can no longer take care of your pets yourself. Every state (including the District of Columbia) have laws to govern the use and creation of pet trusts.
In the process of setting up a trust, the grantor (you) has the authority to be specific in how you may want your assets in the trust to be managed, on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust and yourself. On a similar principle, that’s how a pet trust operates.
You can set up the trust and name your trustee of choice. He or she holds cash or any assets to benefit your pets. In the trust, funds held can be used to pay to care for the pet and related expenses, such as the following:
- Costs for grooming
- Costs for feeding and boarding
- Routine checkups with a veterinarian
- Veterinary emergency care
A pet trust can be used to be specific about ‘end of life treatment’ and care for pets, as well as any arrangements of cremation or burial which you may prefer once your pet becomes deceased.
Typically, a pet trust can be set in place for the life expectancy of the pet. However, several states do cap the duration of how long the pet trust can continue. The limit is 21 years in some states.
As for types of pets that can be covered under a pet trust, the list entails most domestic pets such as dogs, cats, lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, and small animals, like hamsters. However, you could set up a pet trust as well for a horse.
Creating a pet trust is no different from creating any other kind of trust with an estate planning attorney. At the Porro Law Group, we can assist you in drafting a trust document. You would need to identify the individual you want as your trustee, as well as trustees to succeed if you worry about your pet outliving any particular person.