There is no doubt we are a nation of pet lovers. Unfortunately, the law as it is currently written views pets as property, so providing for your pet in your will won’t work. So how do you protect your favorite fur-person? With a pet trust.
To create a pet trust, you should first discuss your wishes for your pet(s) with the Law Office of Keoni Souza so your pet trust will be executed properly and will be legally enforceable after you are gone.
When planning for your pet trust, you should:
Choose someone to act as trustee
Be sure you discuss your intentions beforehand with your potential pet trustee to ensure they are both willing and able to carry out your wishes.
Choose a successor trustee
If your first choice for trustee is unable to act as trustee, a second person should be named as successor trustee.
Some people elect to name a financially responsible individual as trustee and another person as caregiver for their pet(s). Be sure to specify a primary and secondary caregiver.
Provide ID information
To help prevent fraud, you should include identification information in your pet trust, including photos of your pet(s) and microchip ID numbers.
Give care instructions
Provide care details for your pet(s), including how often they should be taken to the vet for check-ups, nutritional requirements and any other health care information.
Establish how much money is needed to care for your pet(s)
You need to be realistic, because large amounts left for pets could be subject to a challenge from other heirs. Be sure to figure in the cost of trust administration as well.
Select a beneficiary
When the last pet you have provided for in your pet trust dies, you should name the person or entity that will receive the leftover funds in the trust.
Supply final instructions
Leave instructions for having your pet(s) buried or cremated.
This article is a service of the Law Office of Keoni Souza, LLC, an estate planning law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by contacting our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
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