In our last post, we discussed how pet owners who consider their dogs, cats or other creatures to be members of the family naturally want to do everything in their power to ensure that they receive the necessary love and care, especially in the event of their sudden demise or incapacity.
To that end, we also began discussing how pet owners here in California should seriously consider the idea of creating a pet trust, which allows them to appoint one or more persons to serve as trustee and caretaker.
To recap, the trustee is tasked with distributing the trust funds earmarked for the care of the pet and ensuring that these funds are being used properly, while the caretaker is tasked with taking care of the pet as established in the terms of the trust.
As wonderful of an idea as this may seem, it's only natural for a person to wonder why they should consider taking this seemingly complicated step.
The advantages of a pet trust
Outside of granting the peace of mind that comes from definitively establishing who will take care of your four-legged friend and where they will live should the unimaginable happen, a pet trust also helps ensure that the quality of life to which your pet has grown accustomed will be maintained and that there are funds set aside to ensure this happens.
Furthermore, in addition to allowing you to set forth everything from clear explicit instructions about how you want your pet cared for and their likes and dislikes, a pet trust grants you the comfort of knowing that should a scenario arise that you didn't cover, the appointed individual can still be trusted to make good (and compassionate) decisions.
Important considerations when executing a pet trust
When debating the execution of a pet trust, there are some important questions you will need to answer, including:
- Are both the trustee and the caretaker ready, willing and able to assume these duties?
- How much money will need to be set aside for your pet's care?
- Where will the remaining money go once your pet passes away?
What all of this serves to underscore is just how important it is for those mulling this option to consider sitting down with a skilled legal professional to learn more about their rights and their options regarding pet trusts.