Pets Trusts are a legally enforceable way to provide for the care of your pets if you ever become permanently incapacitated or upon your demise. In this article, we will go over how pet trusts work and the information you need to consider before creating one.
How Pet Trusts Work
The pet owner is the grantor, or the individual creating the trust. While the grantor is alive and well, they will also be the trustee. This means they will maintain control of the trust. But they will need to name an individual to care for the trust fund once they become unable to do so themselves. This is known as the successor trustee. Additionally, they will need to name a caregiver. This is the individual they trust to care for their pets when they are unable.
Calculating the Trust Fund
When deciding how much the pet trust fund needs to be, there are few factors you will need to consider. First, you need to determine the life expectancy of your pet or pets. This will help you properly calculate the amount of funds they will need to be properly maintained for the rest of their lives. Next, you need to factor in routine and emergency veterinary costs. You also need to calculate potential grooming costs. As well as the cost for food for your pet’s remaining life expectancy.
Other Factors to Consider
Before you create your own pet trust, there are some other factors that you will need to take into consideration. First, is how you want to identify your pets. You can do this through photos, DNA, or microchips. Or you could describe them simply as a class. Such as “all pets owned by me at the time of my death or incapacitation”. Such wording ensures all pets will be cared for and prevents the need to update the trust any time you have any changes.
You will also want to decide if you would like to require the trustee to perform regular inspections on the wellbeing of your pets. Additionally, you will want to decide if you would like your pets to be buried or cremated. Lastly, it is important that you designate a remainder beneficiary to inherit any funds left over after the care of your pet is complete.
Utilizing Pet Trusts
Pet trusts allow you to care for the important animals in your life. If this is something you would like, then you can have a pet trust built into your Revocable Living Trust. The next step is to meet with a qualified professional who can help set these documents up for you.
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