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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: All information contained on these pages is offered as a helpful service.  It it not intended as medical counsel or taking the place of professional guidance. Please seek the services of  a competent veterinarian or professional dog trainer at the first indication of problems.

 


PET TRUSTS

    
     Insuring that money is available to care for your pet in case of your demise may not be as easy as you think. It can involve considerable legalities. Exactly how you set aside money for your pet depends on the laws of the state in which you live. In many states pets are considered property and therefore cannot be direct beneficiaries of trusts.

     As the population of this country ages, and pets are increasingly recognized as a plus for seniors, the problem of providing for the welfare of pets in case of an ownerís death merits considerable thought.

     One method around the problem in many states, is to set up a trust for an individual or person empowered to care for your pet. But, this may be tricky to set up. Depending on how the trust is created and the nature of the law in a particular state, the human beneficiary can administer the funds in a number of ways. For example, he or she can have full control, which means that you had better have confidence that the trustee will place your petís welfare first. Otherwise, the trustee may spend your money, but not on your pet.

      Another alternative is to mandate that money from the bequest be used both for the petís maintenance, food and veterinary care etc., and to pay someone probably the beneficiary, for time spent caring for the animal.

     One more concern, must be worked out. What happens when the petís life ends? Does the remainder of the funds go to the caretaker? Does it go to other beneficiaries?

It is recommended to consult with an attorney familiar with trusts, especially with statutes covering bequests to pets.