If you’re concerned about the care of a beloved pet after you pass, a good estate planning option for you may be the creation of a pet trust. A pet trust is a legal method that enables you to make sure that your pet is well cared for in the event you become incapacitated or die.
Texas law specifically authorizes pet trusts. The trust can be created in your will or set up in a separate trust document. There can be a benefit to creating a separate trust document in that it can be drafted so that its provisions take effect in the event you become disabled, and not necessarily upon your death.
Next you would fund – add money – to the trust directly or it can also be funded through your estate after you pass. How much money you put into the trust is up to you, but you should take into account the cost of your pet’s current care expenses – food, kennel costs, veterinary expenses, grooming, and any other expenses you typically have for your pet.
The trustee, the person you designate to administer the trust for the benefit of your pet, would be responsible for paying for the care of your pet. In most cases the trustee would not be your pet’s caregiver but would pay someone to fulfill that role. It is important that you choose a reliable relative or friend for this role, and you should also name a secondary or backup trustee in the event your first choice is unable or unwilling to accept the responsibility when the time comes.
Finally, be sure and let your family and friends know that you’ve created a trust for your pet.
If you have questions or would like help in creating a trust for your pet, please give us a call.