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Wills-Include Pets in Your Will

This page is for pet owners.  Have you ever thought about who will take care of your pet when you cannot?  You can include your wishes and  instructions in a pet trust.    

What is a “pet trust”?

A pet trust is a legal document that is commonly used to ensure our pet receives proper care after we die or in the event of disability.

How does a pet trust work?

We give our pet and a sum of money or other property to a trusted person or bank (the “trustee”) who is under a fiduciary duty to make arrangements for the proper care of our pet according to our instructions.  The trustee will take the pet to our designated caregiver (the “beneficiary”) and then use the property we transferred to the trust to pay for our pet’s expenses.

Are there different kinds of pet trusts?

There are two main types of pet trusts.

In a “traditional pet trust” we name a trustee to mange the funds and a caregiver to take care of our pet.  The trustee reimburses the caregiver of our pet for the pet’s expenses according to our instructions as long as the beneficiary takes proper care of our pet.

A “statutory pet trust” is a simple document.  It does not require the pet owner to make as many decisions regarding the terms of the trust.  The state law fills in the gaps and thus a simple provision in a will such as, “I leave $10,000 in trust for the care of my dog, Fido” may be effective.

To read the entire article Taking Care of  Pets When We Cannot, please click the file below.

Steph Ko,
Jan 28, 2014, 7:40 PM