The state of Florida enacted laws to authorize the establishment of pet trusts in 2003, allowing petowners to plan for the care and maintenance for their pet’s lifetime. An article in The Naples Daily News, “Pet Trusts Gaining Popularity.” explains the fundamental issues involved.
Now almost every state recognizes these trusts (which vary in each state). A named trustee will typically be responsible for the investment, management and distribution of the trust assets. Another individual is named as the pet’s caregiver to avoid potential conflict of interest. The trust will include details for caregivers, medical needs, and the final arrangements for the pet’s death.
You should speak with a qualified estate planning attorney because estate taxes and other expenses attributable to the trust will need to be considered when drafting a pet trust. Planning for your pets can be an important part of your estate planning process. Make sure that all members of your family—including your pets—are cared for in your estate plan.
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Reference: Naples Daily News (August 17, 2015) “Pet Trusts Gaining Popularity”