Your pet or animal companion loves you unconditionally and relies on you for its care. For many people, an important part of their estate plan is providing for the ongoing care of their animals. A pet trust is one way of ensuring that your animal is cared for in the way that you would care for it. There are many approaches to providing for your beloved companion ranging from a formally funded trust to giving your pet to a specific person.
If you have a pet you want to make sure it is cared for,
Over a half million pets are euthanized every year
between 12% and 27% of pet owners include their pets in their wills.
Colorado has a pet trust statute that enables an animal to be a beneficiary of a trust
Such a trust can quickly and easily provide for your pet’s food, shelter, and care if you become disabled or die.
Many people give instructions in their powers of attorney to provide for the care of their animals in the event of the owner’s disability.
There are a number of approaches to provide for your pet’s care including a statutory pet trust, an honorary trust, a traditional trust, a conditional gift to the pet’s caretaker, or an outright gift. Factors to consider include state law, your pet’s needs, your goals and your financial resources in order to provide your pet a quality life. A qualified attorney can help you clarify your values and desires and enable you to accomplish them.
Setting up a trust enables you to give specific directions about your animal companion’s daily care, activity, medical care, physical control and even burial.
A pet trust becomes effective immediately if desired.
Some traps to avoid:
- attempting to give money directly to a pet in a will is generally impossible.
- a traditional trust, unless carefully crafted, may not achieve the pet owner’s goals.
- providing for your animal companion in a will may result in a gap in care for your pet while the will is probated.
- Your animal companion may not receive the care you desire if you simply give it to a friend or relative.
To find out what plan is best for you and your pets,