Do you have a canine companion or other beloved pet? If so, you may worry about what will happen if you pass away before he or she does. This worry can be even more acute if you have a pet with a longer life expectancy, like a cat or a reptile. Rest assured that there may be a way to help make sure your pet is provided for, and it may be by including a pet trust in your long-term planning. Let us take a look at three reasons to consider a pet trust in your estate plan.
1. Being Able to Choose Your Pet’s Caregiver. When you create a pet trust, you can decide who will take care of your pet down the road. By doing this now, you may have ample opportunity to talk to friends and family to see who might be best suited for this role. The right choice may not be the most obvious, so thinking it through now may give you time to make the right choice. You can also name a backup caregiver, in the event that your first choice is no longer able to provide a home for your pet when the time comes.
2. Help Ensure the Caregiver Has Financial Resources. You may fund a pet trust with enough money to cover all reasonable expenses that your pet’s caregiver may incur for your pet. These include things like food and toys, but also less obvious potential expenses, like the cost of boarding your pet at a licensed facility or veterinarian’s office if the caregiver has to go out of town for a few days or weeks. At the end of the term of the pet trust, which will usually be the end of your pet’s life, any funds remaining in the trust may be distributed to whomever you choose as remainder beneficiary. This could be another friend or loved one, or a charity that does good work on behalf of animals.
3. Meet Your Pet’s Needs. Money may not be the only thing that you can put into a pet trust. You can detail your pet’s likes and dislikes and leave specific instructions as to their care. This way, your wishes are understood, and your pet will be comfortable in their new home.
For more information on establishing a pet trust, contact our office to schedule an appointment.