If you have a furry friend who depends on you, or one with feathers or scales for that matter, you may worry about how your pet will continue to receive what they need after you are gone. Many pet owners inaccurately believe that writing provisions for a pet into their will is enough to guarantee their ongoing care, but this is not always true. If you need to make sure that your pet truly has what it needs after you are gone, you may want to consider a pet trust.
One of the primary advantages of a pet trust is that the individual who is charged with caring for your pet actually bears a legal duty to follow your instructions for the pet’s care. In contrast, if you merely make provisions for your pet in a will, the caretaker of the pet is not actually bound to the care of the pet after he o she receives the payout from the will.
Furthermore, many estate plans that leave considerations for a pet may face challenges from family members who are unhappy with your wishes. A pet trust is far better equipped to withstand those challenges and continue to protect your pet. Not only that, but pet trusts also take affect as soon as you pass away or are deemed incapacitated. Using only a will to provide for your pet may mean a lapse of weeks or even months before your pet properly receives the care it needs. As a pet owner, you understand that this is simply unacceptable.
If you believe that a pet trust may be a good fit for your needs and the needs of your animal companion, do not wait to take action. You never know when something unexpected may happen, and your pet deserves the best that you can give it. An experienced attorney can help you craft a strong trust to take care of all your pets’ needs and ensure that they have what they need to enjoy a wonderful life long after you are gone.
Source: Findlaw, “Pet Trust,” accessed Sep. 15, 2017