Mention the idea of a Trust for pets, and many might conjure images of Leona Helmsley’s Maltese, Trouble, sipping Perrier from a fancy goblet in a luxury Manhattan residence. Helmsley’s decision to leave $12 million for her pet wasn’t her sole unconventional act. She was notably known for her quirky choices.
However, setting up a Pet Trust isn’t reserved just for the wealthy or the eccentric. Such trusts are created by compassionate individuals who want to ensure their beloved pets, regarded as family, are well-looked after if they pass away or become incapacitated.
Starting a Pet Trust is straightforward, especially when working with a seasoned estate planning attorney familiar with such trusts. First, identify someone who can offer the love and care your pet deserves. Who would make your dog’s tail wag enthusiastically or coax your cat into a soothing purr? This person would be your designated pet caretaker.
Next, determine the funds to allocate for your pet’s continued care. Helmsley’s extravagance with Trouble is an outlier. To work out the amount for your pet, calculate the yearly costs associated with food, medical care, grooming, and other essentials. Multiply this figure by your pet’s expected remaining years. It might also be thoughtful to set aside a gratitude amount for the caretaker.
Lastly, decide who will oversee and dispense the funds designated for your pet’s needs. This individual is the Pet Trust’s Trustee. They could be the caretaker, another trusted individual, a professional trustee, or even a charitable organization dedicated to pet welfare.
Just as you’d plan for your human family, considering Guardians, Trustees, and Executors, your pets, whether furry, feathered, or scaled, deserve the same attention. Without your foresight, they could unfortunately end up like many other pets left behind. Get in touch with a specialized estate planning attorney to establish a Pet Trust for your cherished companion. Rest easy knowing they’ll be in good hands and perhaps still purring or wagging their tail, even if you’re not around to see it.
Contact us at 817.899.3286 to schedule your free one-hour personal consultation.
From the desk of Attorney Brandon McGee, McGee Law Firm
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