Thursday, May 1, 2014
For many, pets are akin to family. However, legally, pets are classified as property, and while owners are unable to leave assets to their pets, they can ensure their pet is properly cared for in the event of the owner’s death by creating a pet trust.
A pet trust is “a legally sanctioned arrangement that provides for the care and maintenance of one or more pets in the event of their owner’s disability or death.” The trustee holds cash in trust for the pet until it becomes necessary to enact it. The trustee then makes payments to a chosen caregiver.
Creating a pet trust is designed to give owners peace of mind and ensure their pets will be cared for in accordance with the owner’s wishes. It is recommended pet owners consult a professional who specializes in estate planning, as there are several states in which a pet trust is not valid.
See Donald Liebenson, Estate Planning Basics: Creating a Pet Trust, Millionaire Corner, Apr. 28, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.