Pet trusts are the best way to ensure that your pet is provided for in the event of your incapacity or death. Key questions for you to consider:
The Pet – Which pet, or pets, are to be provided for by the pet trust?
Be specific. The trustee needs to be able to make sure that the correct pet is receiving the proper care, and that the caregiver is receiving funds for the right pet.
The Care – What kind of care are you providing for?
Some owners create long, specific lists to ensure that their pets receive very close to the same treatment as when the owner was alive. Typical care provisions include: the amount of exercise per week, the type of medical care or medications, the type of food, etc.
The Trustee – Who can you rely on to handle the trust funds and watch over the treatment that the caregiver is providing your pet?
Don’t forget to give second or third options for the trustee, as well as the caregiver.
The Caregiver – Who can you trust to provide loving care to your pet and watch out for its well being?
Typically someone who either has a rapport with the pet, or someone that has a clear love of animals and has shown the capability of caring for them (including animal care organizations). Don’t forget that you can provide compensation to the caregiver if you desire.
Afterward – After your pet, or pets, pass on, what would you like to happen to your pet’s remains and the remainder of the trust funds?
Some owners give the remainder of the funds to individual beneficiaries, and others decide to donate the funds to different organizations (charitable, educational, or otherwise).
If you have a pet that you love, consider the questions above, and speak to an attorney today about setting up a pet trust.
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