Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, July 5, 2020

How Covid-19 Has Gotten More Animal Owners To Consider Creating Pet Trusts

PetThe rapid spread of the Coronavirus has sparked an interest in people all over the world to make sure their affairs are in order in case of sudden death or incapacitation. Many pet owners consider their pets as part of the family, so it only makes sense that they want to make sure their pets will be taken care of when they can no longer provide care. Creation of a pet trust will allow pet owners to ensure their precious loved ones are cared for even if they cannot be the ones to care for them.

A pet trust is a legal arrangement providing for the care and maintenance of a pet (or pets) in the event of the owner’s death or incapacitation. This allows pet owners to name a pet guardian and allocate funds in the estate to provide continued care for their pet. 

An owner can create a testamentary pet trust in his will by designating portions of his estate to be used for the benefit of his pet.

The testator should elect a pet guardian to care for the pet. This person can be the same as the trustee, or someone else who is familiar with the pet’s routine.

Selecting two different people to act as the trustee and as the pet guardian will help prevent misappropriation of the trust property and ensure the terms of the pet trust are being adhered to. It will be hard to ensure the pet is adequately being taken care of if only one person is both the trustee and pet guardian. 

See Nancy E. Halpern, How Covid-19 Has Gotten More Animal Owners To Consider Creating Pet Trusts, Fox Rothschild LLP, June 25, 2020.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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