Pets hold special places in the hearts of their owners, with many becoming more and more like family members over the years. For older pet owners, their pets might be their primary companions. In California, many owners want their pets to continue thriving even in the event of their own passing. By including their beloved pets in their estate plan, owners can give trustees the ability and means to continue providing necessary pet care.
Trusts are common features of estate plans, but their use for pets is perhaps not as well-known. Like with other trusts, a pet trust will contain property -- usually in the form of money -- which will be managed by a trustee. The trustee will then use the money for the pet's needs, although he or she may not necessarily be the person designated to provide physical care for the dog,
While the financial portion of pet trusts are extremely important, owners can also provide other valuable instructions. Veterinarian records, relevant medical history, dietary needs or likes and even a pet's favorite toys or walking trails might all be included within a trust. This information can be invaluable for maintaining a pet's health in the period following their owner's death.
Four-legged friends provide love and dedication to their families, and California owners can do more than give a belly rub to repay this kindness. Pet trusts are effective estate planning tools to ensure that beloved pets are cared for even if their owner outlives them. By providing enough money for future expenses, naming responsible trustees and including all relevant information, owners can be sure their animals will continue to be loved and cared for.
Source: aspca.org, "Pet Trust Primer", Accessed on Jan. 7, 2018