Pet Planning FAQs

What can I do to make sure my pet is taken care of after I’m gone?

One thing you can do is to create a pet trust.  A pet trust allows you to leave in-depth instructions for your pet’s care and decide how you want those trust funds managed throughout your pet’s life in what could be varying amounts and stages. Any funds transferred to the trust during your lifetime stay in trust for the benefit of your pet at the time of your death. The trustee (the person you appoint) has a legal obligation to carry out the terms you specify in your trust.

Why is it important to make my desires formal in a trust, as opposed to just telling the person to whom I plan to leave your pets?

Putting things in writing eliminates any confusion that may follow after you die. You may know the person you want to take care of your pets, but if you don’t plan for that in your estate, it may do you or your pet any good.  You can eliminate the ambiguity by formally writing your desires regarding your pet.  One pet owner tried to just contract with a friend to care for her dog after her death.  The court, however, refused to agree to the arrangement and decided that the dog owner’s care instructions were not a valid contract.

What is the benefit of having a trust or will?

Because over 2/3 of people in the United States die without executing a will or trust to transfer their assets to their loved ones upon their death. If you don’t have a will or a trust, the Probate Act will control the dissemination of what you own. The problem is not all states recognize pets as any thing other than personal property, and most of us think of our pets as much more than that.

Is it necessary to have a trust or will for my pet?

Most U.S. courts have considered pets to be personal property. While many people make a will or trust to show how they want their real and personal property to be distributed, they forget to decide the care of their pets. When you work with us as professional estate planners, you can set forth your exact wishes for your pet or pets in a pet trust.

What is a trust?

A trust is an arrangement, usually established by a written document, to provide for the management and disposition of your assets. It normally involves three parties: the person who establishes the trust (sometimes called a donor, grantor, settlor, or trustor), a trustee, and one or more beneficiaries.

What exactly is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust is set up through the estate planning process to ensure that your pet companions are well-taken care of.  An owner can create a pet trust that includes detailed instructions to offer pet protection for the life of the animal(s). The pet trust and pet protection agreement should name a pet guardian who will take custody of the pet and follow the detailed instructions regarding the pet’s care, as well as a successor pet guardian, trustee and successor trustee.

How do I create a pet trust?

See an estate-planning attorney that has interest and abilities regarding setting up a pet trust.   Our office, Loquvam Law, believes that this is an important aspect of estate planning and can help you.  Please call our office to set up a free initial consultation.