Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Is A Pet Trust?

Pet trusts are not just for the likes of Hollywood mega-stars or the super rich.  They can, and do, serve a role in planning for the regular person.  A pet trust is usually a testamentary trust, meaning it is not created until a will is admitted to probate.  If the decedent owned a pet at that time, the trust would be created.  Essentially a basket, the trust would hold both the animal(s) as well as cash.  The animals are considered property, and would be "transferred" to the trust.  A pet trust would also:

  • name a caretaker and successor;
  • nominate a trustee to manage the funds;
  • provides instruction on what should happen to remaining funds when the animal(s) die; and
  • ends upon the death of the last animal.
You may want to consider a pet trust if:
  • you have a pet with a long life span, such as a parrot or tortoise;
  • you have a pet with health needs that would be a burden on the person willing to care for the animal upon your death; or
  • if you have animals that are valuable -- horses, show dogs, etc.
Image credit: www.sxc.hu - free image

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