Have you wondered what might happen to your loving little family member who walks on four legs, has feathers or scales, and loves you unconditionally after you pass away?
The best legal option when considering your pet and estate planning is to make a pet trust. With a pet trust, you can leave your pet along with money and a legal obligation to care for your pet to a caretaker that you select. If the caretaker fails to follow your detailed instructions, then they can be sued. In your trust document, you should state pets are covered, name a caretaker, set an amount of money to be used for the care of your pet, and describe accurately how you want your pet cared for. Furthermore, name a particular person to go to court and enforce the terms of the trust if needed. Also, list what should happen to the money that is left should or when the animal dies. One more thing to consider is to describe how you would like your pet cared for if, for some reason, you cant take care of them before your death.
The advantages of using a pet trust are creating a legal obligation to care for your pet, providing accountability for the money that you leave to the caretaker, and setting up a caretaking plan that will take effect if you become incapacitated.
The most considerable disadvantage to using a pet trust is that they are expensive, inflexible if circumstances change after your death, and likely to be more planning and structure than you need if you trust your named caretaker.