You would never go a day without feeding your cat or leave on vacation without making arrangements for your dog. But have you ever thought about the fate of your beloved pets if something unexpected were to happen to you?
Thankfully, all states recognize pet trusts as a valid part of your estate plan. In the event of your death or disability, you can provide for your pets by establishing a pet trust—an increasingly popular way to ensure the long-term health and happiness of your faithful companions.
When you create such a trust, you will name someone as the physical caregiver, as well as someone to manage the trust’s money. At the end of your pet’s life, the trust will terminate and the balance of the trust funds can be distributed to your loved ones or a favorite charitable organization, such as Vermont PBS.
Consider the following elements when putting your pet trust together:
Give a copy of your pet trust to the caregiver and trustee. Leave emergency phone numbers with the executor or personal representative of your estate and your family. Let them know how important it is to move quickly if something should happen to you. Do not risk your pet being abandoned during these early days.
A pet trust will become effective should you become disabled. Your designated caregiver can care for your pet under the provisions in your trust. This type of trust would require funding now so that a caregiver would have access to the trust funds should a disability occur during your lifetime. If you never face disability, the trust becomes effective upon your death.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.