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Setting Up a Pet Trust

The sad truth is that without a plan, your pet’s future is uncertain. The Humane Society of The United States estimates that 4 to 5% of pets entering shelters and pounds are the result of their owner’s death or disability. The goal of a Pet Trust is to ensure your pet’s future; including people who will care for your pet, resources available for care and standards for that care.

Many people assume friends or family will step in to care for their beloved pet but the sad truth is that if affirmative steps are not taken to ensure an enforceable plan many pets have an uncertain future.

  • Our pets love us unconditionally, help reduce stress and add enjoyment to our lives, yet few of us have done anything to ensure long term care for our pets in the event that we are unable to provide for them personally.
  • In 2009 Connecticut joined 43 other states in allowing pets to be the beneficiary of a trust.
  • Proper planning can provide for a care plan not only in the event of death but also disability or an emergency.
  • There is no assurance that if you leave money to someone outright to care for your pet that they will do what they promised to do.
  • Providing an orderly plan for your pet is the responsible and loving thing to do.

The goal of a PET TRUST is to ensure that there are both funds and a plan in place to care for your pet.

  • A PET TRUST is a legal document you can create so that your pets may be cared for, as you yourself have cared for them.

With a PET TRUST, you may

  • Appoint a Caregiver and at least one backup.
  • Appoint a Trustee.
  • Protect the money designated for the pet.
  • Give directions regarding healthcare, exercise, diet and living conditions.
  • Provide that any funds remaining in trust at the death of the pet goes to charity, family member or friend.
  • Provide a method for finding a caretaker if the caretaker or the back-up caretaker selected is unavailable.

Do you have a plan in place that will:

  • Notify people you have chosen so that your pet will be cared for if you are hospitalized;
  • Provide authority for those people to enter your home to either take possession of your pet or pets, or care for them there;
  • Provide a source of funds for your pets care; and your pets likes and dislikes, routines and care instructions.

WHY Trusts are better than outright gifts to a Caretaker.

  • Assets in a trust are NOT subject to the caregiver’s creditors, marital disputes or bankruptcy.
  • If you leave an outright gift of money to a person in your will in exchange for the care of your pet, the money will go to that person’s heirs or beneficiaries at his or her death and will not be available to care for the pet.