If you visit our office, you will be greeted by my two dogs who come to the office every day: Buddy and Puggy. People love their pets, just as I love Buddy and Puggy, and they want to ensure that their pets are taken care of if anything happens to them. There are two ways to achieve this. One approach is to establish a pet trust. This involves creating a separate document where you specify who will care for your pet if you become incapacitated or pass away. If the designated person is unable to fulfill this role, you can name alternatives, potentially three or four. Additionally, you’ll appoint a trustee who will manage the financial aspects of the trust. You decide the amount of money to allocate to this pet trust, which can range from $10,000 to even $100,000.
In the event that your pet passes away, the pet trust should explicitly mention the names of the pets involved; in my case, Buddy and Puggy. It’s important to note that you cannot include names of future pets in the pet trust. Once your pets have passed away, you can specify the recipient of the remaining funds, and a thoughtful choice would be to allocate it to an animal charity.
Alternatively, if you prefer not to create a separate trust – during your estate planning process, I can provide you with a standard trust along with the option to include a pet trust. In your regular trust, you can specify that $10,000 is designated for Jane, who you want to take care of Buddy and Puggy. It’s then your responsibility to ensure that Jane fulfills this role, and a potential solution is to appoint a separate trustee to oversee and monitor Jane’s care of the pets.
In summary, you have the choice between establishing a pet trust or designating funds to an individual responsible for your pets’ well-being. If you’re interested in meeting Buddy and Puggy and discussing how to care for your pets, we offer a free consultation. Feel free to reach out to the law offices of Alice Salvo to schedule an appointment.