Your pet may be your best friend or your most loyal companion who gives you unconditional love, but when you die, your pet is considered property just like your china or your pots and pans. You cannot leave money to your pet and you should name a guardian for your pet if you want him to be well cared for when you are no longer able to care for him.
The best way to provide for your pet is to establish a pet trust. A pet trust is like other types of trusts in that you set aside specific assets for the specific purpose of caring for your pet.
How Much Should You Put in a Pet Trust?
Every pet has a different lifestyle just as every owner does. Some pet owners are willing to spend hundreds each month on the best food and dog toys money can buy. Some pay for doggy daycare and some are willing to pay for a personal dog walker. Veterinary bills can be very expensive and there are optional treatments a pet owner may or may not be willing to finance. Establishing a pet trust will mean the pet will never be a financial burden for his new caregiver.
A Pet Trust not only allows for the financial care of a pet if his owner passes away, but also allows someone else to start caring for a pet if his owner should become incapacitated in any way.
Getting Legal Help
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you decide if you should consider a pet trust and the types and amounts of assets you should use to fund the trust.