Setting aside money for someone to care for your pets after you’re gone is not only for the rich and famous. Creating an estate plan that includes your pet should be the typical practice for all animal owners. You can make sure when someone takes care of your best four-legged friend after you pass away, you are not creating a financial burden. A pet trust must be done right, so be certain to consult with your estate planning attorney. Your attorney can recommend a proper estate plan that includes your pets.
Although creating a pet trust may seem like the most obvious way to care for your pet, you can make sure your beloved pet continues receiving proper care after you’re no longer around by creating a conditional Will. Your estate planning attorney can help you determine whether creating a pet trust or a conditional Will would better accommodate your individual needs.
A pet trust is a written document that you create while you are alive. To establish a valid trust, you need to fund it and appoint a trustee. Most states allow their residents to establish pet trusts for the benefit of their pets. A conditional will allows you to place a condition on an heir’s right to receive an inheritance. Typically, the condition you place on your heir is that he or she must take care of your pet to be able to receive the inheritance. Speak with your estate planning attorney about leaving a conditional bequest to a trusted friend or relative.
Pet Trusts and Conditional Wills: Ways to Include Your Pet in Your Estate Plans