If you are one of the millions of Americans who considers a beloved pet to be part of the family, then you undoubtedly worry about what will happen to your pet when you are no longer here to take care of him or her. The good news is that with proper estate planning, you can provide for your pet’s care after your death by creating a pet trust.
A pet trust operates in the same basic fashion as any other trust. As the grantor of the trust, you are able to appoint a trustee and a beneficiary (your pet), as well as designate assets to fund the trust and establish rules regarding how the trust assets are to be used for the care of your pet.
The trustee of your pet trust may be the same person who is to have the day to day care of your pet, but does not have to be the same person. You may also choose to appoint a neutral party as the trustee, such as an attorney. As the grantor of the trust, you have the ability to decide things such as what the trust funds can be used for and how often distributions are to be made. You can be as specific or as general as you wish to be with the terms. For example, you may choose to dictate what type of food your pet is fed and what veterinarian is to be used ,or you may simply establish a disbursement schedule and depend on the caregiver to make all other decision.
By creating a pet trust, you are able to rest easier knowing that your pet will be well cared for even after you are gone.