How to Set Up a Pet Trust

Setting up a pet trust will allow you to provide for your pet once you pass. If you set it up properly, your pet will be able to live a comfortable life for several years into the future. A pet trust is a legal entity that you can set up in order to take care of your pet whenever you die. You will be able to designate a certain amount of money into this trust so that it can pay for the care of your pet. You are going to give the money to a bank, or trustee, and name a beneficiary. The trustee is then going to regularly provide some money to the beneficiary in order to take care of the pet. 

How Much to Fund

When you are trying to decide how much money to put into a pet trust, examine several variables. You want to put enough money in the trust to make sure that your pet is well taken care of. However, at the same time, you do not want to put an unusually large amount of money into the trust. If you do, some of your other heirs will contest the trust in an attempt to get their hands on the money. Take into consideration how old your pet is now and what the average life expectancy for this type of animal is. You will want to provide enough money to pay for medical expenses and food for that amount of time. You will also need to provide some extra money for the caregiver to pay for a boarding house, if they need to be out of town.

When to Fund

If you use an intervivos trust, which takes effect while you are still alive, you will want to fund it immediately. If you set up a testamentary trust, which takes effect based on the provisions in your will, it will be automatically funded whenever you pass away.

Naming Caregiver

You will also need to name a caregiver for your pet. Whenever you are choosing the caregiver, you want to think about several different things. First, you want to choose someone that is willing to do the job. If you pass your pet onto someone that does not like animals, this is going to be a disastrous situation for your pet. You also need to make sure that the individual has a home that can accommodate pets.

You should also consider naming alternate caregivers. This way, if your first choice for a caregiver is not available, your pet will be given to someone else to take care of.

Care Instructions

You should include detailed care instructions for your pet. Tell the caregiver what you want them to eat and what their daily routine is like. Tell the caregiver which veterinarian to take the animal to for medical care. Anything else that you want the caregiver to know about your pet should be included in the instructions.

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