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Pet Trust

  • A Pet Trust is a legally enforceable method to provide for the care, maintenance, and well-being of your pet in the event of your disability or death.
  • Funds are transferred into an account and distributed over the pet's remaining life.
  • You are also able to select the beneficiaries for any remaining funds.

Why do I need this?

Recent changes in estate law have transformed the way in which courts now deal with pets and all other animals. The shift is on-going and the trend is toward a much more enlightened view of pets that improves greatly on their legal status as property. These changes bring new responsibilities and new opportunities.

It is vital that Pet Owners or Pet Guardians create legal documents that protect the welfare and security of family pets and all animals.

Why you don't put your pet in a Will

As way of example, in her will, Jane left $10,000 to her sister, Nancy, to care for her dog, Max. Nancy cried at her sister's funeral then took Max to the pound and used the $10,000 for a shopping spree in Paris. No one including the court can do anything about it.

Because pets are considered property, they cannot legal inherit. Jane is not permitted to leave money directly in her will to her pet. The provision asking Nancy to care for the pet with the money left is a request and the court does not have to enforce her wishes.

How it works:

Typically property (cash, for example) is held in trust for the benefit of your pet. Payments to a designated caregiver(s) will be made on a regular basis. The trust, will continue for the life of the pet, but not longer than 21 years, whichever occurs first. This is important to note as some companion animals that have an extended life expectancy, such as horses and parrots.

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