Pet Care Trusts Allow You to Provide Continuing Care for Your Pet

Pet care trusts are a relatively new legal tool used to provide for the care and maintenance of a companion animal should its owner die or become disabled. Our pet trust attorneys can help you employ this legal arrangement to ensure your pet will always be cared for and protected as you would wish.

To millions of Americans, their dogs, cats, and other pets are more than just animals. They are a trusted friend, an emotional support, and a great source of joy and satisfaction. Considering the close connections between pet owners and their pets, it is not surprising that a substantial number of owners want to provide for their companions' care in the event they are unable to do so.

We can help you draft a pet care trust as a stand-alone trust or as part of a living trust that you create as part of your estate.

Pet Trusts – How They Work For You

Naturally, pet trusts require someone to fund them called a grantor. As the grantor of the trust, you fund the trust with enough money or property to care for your pet during his expected lifetime. You select a trustee to manage the money for the benefit of your pet, and a caretaker to manage your pet's care. The trustee should be someone you trust, who is financially responsible and cares about your pet. The caretaker should be someone who knows and loves your pet, who can provide a comfortable home and who is willing to accept the responsibility. While the same individual can act as both trustee and caretaker, it may be advisable to use separate individuals to ensure your pet is properly cared for.

A pet trust allows you to specify instructions regarding the care of your pet. The most commonly included details are:

  • Identification of the pet
  • Food and diet instructions
  • Grooming instructions
  • Veterinary care instructions
  • Compensation for the caregiver and trustee
  • How the caregiver must document expenses
  • How the trustee is to monitor the caregiver’s services
  • Whether the trust will cover liabilities should the pet bite or injure someone or damage property
  • Final burial or cremation instructions

If you are worried about what might happen to your beloved animal after your death, let our pet trust attorneys ease your mind. We understand your concern for your pet and will help you make the best possible arrangements.

Pet Trusts – Other Alternatives

If a pet care trust is not what you desire, Gudorf Law Group can help you find other ways to provide for your pet, such as bequeathing money to a person on the condition that it be spent for the care of your pet, or bequeathing your pet itself to an individual along with money for its care.

Contact us for a free consultation and more information on pet care trusts.

Do not forget to review the Free Resources available for you on our site.

Interested in what other legal services we can provide? View our Practice Areas page to learn more.