This is Max. He is a pit bull mix we adopted from the Austin Animal Shelter at eight weeks. He is two now and has not lost any of his enthusiasm for life and various pieces of furniture. He is, for good (most of the time) or for bad (only some of the time), a part of our family. If something happens to my wife and me, we would want to be sure that Max, Maggie (our other dog) and Emma (our cat) are taken care of as we would any family member. Fortunately, our adult children know that and would take good care of all three.
71.1 million households in the US own at least one pet. And not everyone is fortunate enough to have someone that is both willing and financially able to take responsibility for their pets. This is where a pet trust can help.
What is a Pet Trust?
A pet trust is legal device to set aside funds to care for your pet or pets after you die or are no longer able to care for them. Like other trusts, money is set aside and someone (a trustee) is legally responsible to see that the money is spent to care for your pet.
You can create the trust while you are alive or provide for it in your will. You can have one person care for your pet and someone else administer the funds, or have one person do both.
There are two ways to create a pet trust: a traditional trust and a “statutory” trust.
The traditional trust allows you to set out, in detail, among other things, instructions on the care of your pet, the name of the caregiver (and successor caregiver, if needed), and the disposition of any remaining funds when your pet dies.
The statutory trust does not require the same detail as a traditional trust, as state law provides the essential terms. You would still need to set aside the funds and name the caregiver, however.
Where can I read more?
See Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Trusts