If you are establishing a trust for you and family members, then you may want to consider the creation of a pet trust, e.g. for your dog, cat, horse etc. As a new type of financial tool, many pet owners are creating a pet trust as a way to ensure their pets are taken care of should they pass way, or become incapacitated.
Pet trusts, just like trusts created for children or other family members, provide a method to ensure that your pet is given certain benefits over the course of life and that there are financial programs in place to ensure those items can be afforded.
Within a pet trust, you can designate a trustee who will be the person responsible for carrying out your requests should you die or become incapacitated. If you are concerned about the elements of your trust, in terms of family members that may challenge your wishes, most courts will uphold your wishes in a pet trust just as they would any other trust created as part of your financial planning and estate planning.
The elements of a pet trust need to include such items as monetary designation and what the money should be used for. In some cases, if you leave rather large amounts of excess money, the courts may opt to re-designate those funds to another beneficiary but only if it can be proved that your pet is going to be taken care of to the extent that you wished.
Pet trusts can be created for any type of family pet. For most dog and cat owners, the pet trust is expected and part of the estate planning. But, if you own larger types of animals, such as horses, the use of a pet trust may become even more important as the needs of horses are often more financially significant. To ensure your pets are taken care of after your death, or incapacitation, be sure to ask about pet trusts when working through your estate planning with your financial planning expert.
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