If you’re doing your estate planning, you’re probably mostly focused on your heirs and your assets. But it’s always important to remember that estate planning is about much more than this, and those with a pet may want to consider setting up a trust for this beloved companion.
The benefit of the trust is that it provides the financial means to take care of the pet if someone else has to do so. You are not able to leave assets directly to a pet, of course, but establishing a trust means that the trustee can authorize payments for things like medicine, check-ups at the vet, food and other necessities.
How can this help your family?
After all, you may have a close friend or family member who is more than happy to take care of your pet for you if necessary. But that’s also a big financial obligation to ask of someone. A pet trust makes things easier because this person just knows that they have to care for the animal and that the financial side will be taken care of. Ideally, you both should discuss this arrangement well in advance.
How long will your pet live?
While anyone can use a pet trust, even for animals like dogs and cats, this is especially important when you have an animal that is most likely going to outlive you. Some birds, for instance, can live for decades. Even a relatively young and healthy person may want to consider setting up a trust.
As you can see, it’s important to really explore all of the legal options you have when doing your estate planning.