How to Create a Pet Trust
We love our pets!  But the laws treat pets as property, so putting your pet in your Will won’t work!  How do you protect your pets when you can no longer care for them?  With a Pet Trust.
When meeting with your Personal Family Lawyer, discuss your wishes for your pets so that your pet trust will be legally enforceable after you are gone.
Here are some items to consider when establishing a pet trust:

  1. Before you name a trustee for your pets, discuss your intentions to ensure they can carry out your wishes.
  2. Successor Trustee. If your first choice of trustee cannot care for your pets, you should name a second person, known as a successor trustee.
  3. You may want to name a person to be a caregiver and a separate person to be in charge of the funds for your pets.  Like trustees, be sure to specify a secondary caregiver.
  4. ID information. You should always include photos and microchip information for your pets.  This will help prevent fraud.
  5. Care instructions. Provide care details including medical needs, vet visits and nutritional requirements.
  6. Determine how much of your estate is needed to care for your pets.  You need to be realistic because large amounts left for the care of pets is subject to challenge by your heirs.  Figure in the costs of trust administration for this trust so that you don’t leave your pets short.
  7. When your last pet passes, you should name a beneficiary for any leftover funds in the trust.
  8. Final instructions. Leave instructions for your pets’ burial or cremation.

If you want to learn more about how to provide for your loved ones (including your furry ones) after you’re gone, visit our website at or call our office at 480 949-6500 to schedule a time to talk.  Call today and mention this article.  We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session. We’ve made space for the first two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge.

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