Estate planning is an exercise in providing for those that you love. Most of the individuals that you love are walking around on two legs. However, many of us own pets who we consider to be part of our families. When you are planning your estate, you must remember your furry friends. One way to provide for a pet would be to make the pet the beneficiary of a pet trust.
The concept of the pet trust is something that has slowly grown in legality and popularity. At this point, most of the states in the union allow pet trusts. We practice law in California, and pet trusts are in fact legal in the Golden State.
Before pet trusts were recognized, people would provide for their pets in different ways. You could ask someone to act as the caretaker after you pass away. Once the individual agreed, you could name this person in your last will. The caretaker would receive a direct bequest after your death.
This is well and good, but there are some potential difficulties that can arise. The pet could pass away shortly after your death. The money that was given to the caretaker for the care of the pet would stay with the caretaker.
The longevity of the caretaker is another thing to take into consideration. Thirdly, there is nothing that would legally compel the caretaker to do any particular thing with the inheritance. There are no guarantees with regard to the level of care that the pet would receive.
When you create a pet trust, all of these concerns evaporate. In the trust agreement you name a successor beneficiary. This person would inherit the assets that remain in the trust after the death of the pet.
You name a trustee when you create the trust agreement. This can be someone that you know, and if you choose an individual, you would want to choose a successor trustee. Your successor would take over in the event of the death of the original trustee.
You could also choose to utilize a trust company or the trust department of a bank to act as trustee.
The trustee is bound by law to follow the instructions that you elucidate in the trust agreement. You can be very specific about the way that you want your pet to be cared for after you die.
A pet trust can be the ideal solution for a pet owner who wants to be absolutely certain that his or her pet receives optimal care when the pet owner is no longer there to provide that care.
Pet Planning Report
We have prepared a free special report that provides additional information about pet trusts. To access the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Pet Planning Report.