Making sense of illness, death and taxes through the eyes of Attorney and Author, Melinda Gustafson Gervasi
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.