Formal Pet Trusts

Formal Pet Trusts

A formal stand-alone pet trust ensures care for your pets, but it's a complicated arrangement that should be created by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and has special experience in pet issues. If a pet owner plans to leave a substantial amount of money for the care of pets and believes that family members may put up a fight, then a formal stand-alone pet trust can be a good option.

Like a Pet Protection Agreement(R), a formal stand-alone pet trust allows the owner to name a person to take care of the pet, dictate how the pet will be treated, and leave money for the care of the pet. Pet trusts also allow for an investment trustee, who can be appointed to manage the funds and make investment decisions.

Many states now permit statutory pet trusts which may be created through a Last Will, but these statutory pet trusts do not permit the owner to leave instructions regarding the pet's care. Furthermore, a statutory pet trust could be held up by the probate process, and it doesn't work if the owner is incapacitated or unable to care for the animal.

The best way to find a pet trust attorney is to contact your local bar association, or the American Bar Association, and ask for the names of local attorneys who are on the animal law committee and who concentrate in the area of pet trusts.

View Pet Trust vs. Pet Protection Agreement Comparison Chart.

 
  • Overview
    Animals have come to play an increasingly significant role in the modern American family. It's proven that people live more fulfilling lives when they live with pets, and two-thirds of all Americans consider their pets to be family members. As veterinary medicine advances and pets lead longer lives...
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  • What happens to my pets when I pass away?
    In the eyes of the law, pets are treated the same way as property. Therefore, the judge or the executor of your estate must often make the critical decisions as to who will take care of your pets. But probate can take months, even years. And even the most well-meaning family members may not be able...
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  • What is a Pet Protection Agreement?
    A Pet Protection Agreement(R) is a document that lets you decide who will take care of your pets and how they will be cared for. Most importantly, a Pet Protection Agreement(R) allows you to name a Pet Guardian, which is the person who will be responsible for taking care of your pet(s) in case...
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  • The Pet Guardian
    The Pet Guardian is the person that you designate to "adopt" or take care of your pets in case you have died or are no longer able to take care of your pets. The Pet Guardian can be responsible for one or all of your pets. But it's possible that you may have different people in mind for different...
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  • Funding
    Providing funds to take care of your pets is optional. However, providing funds can make sure that your pets will be cared for in a manner that they are accustomed. Funds can be a fixed amount or a percentage of an insurance policy, bank account or other asset. In the Pet Protection Agreement(R),...
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  • Formal Pet Trusts
    A formal stand-alone pet trust ensures care for your pets, but it's a complicated arrangement that should be created by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and has special experience in pet issues. If a pet owner plans to leave a substantial amount of money for the care of pets and...
    read more