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Why creating a pet trust may make sense for pet owners

Pet ownership is increasing, and the way many Americans feel about their pets is changing too. There are spas that will polish your dog’s nails or give him or her a blueberry facial treatment. Cat spas offer services like massages and holistic healing treatments. Doggie daycares make sure your dog is socialized and looked after while you are at work. For many, dogs and cats have become a part of the family, and people usually want the best for their family.

You may think having your dog’s nails done or getting your cat a massage may seem a little over the top. Everyone has different opinions about their pets’ needs. However, most pet owners want their pets to be well fed and cared for. So, what happens when you are no longer around to look after your pets?

What is a pet trust?

One way to ensure your pets are taken care of is through a pet trust. A pet trust is a legal document that directs care and maintenance for your pets, in case of your incapacitation or death. As the pet owner, you are the grantor of the trust, which is the person who creates the trust. As the grantor, you designate a trustee who will disperse money for the care of your pets. You will also want to appoint a trusted caregiver for your pets.

What makes a pet trust different?

The thing that differentiates a trust from other estate planning documents is how detailed you can make it. With a pet trust, you can be specific about how you want your pets to receive care. If your cat only eats a particular brand of food, you can outline that your cat must only be fed that kind of food. Maybe your dog is used to a walk every morning and evening. You can also specify that must occur in your pet trust.

According to the American Bar Association, you can also state that you and your pets are to remain together, in case you must move into a long-term care facility. Since a pet trust is a legal document, the facility should have to comply with this.

You may wonder what happens if there is still money left in the trust after your beloved pets pass away. A trust also allows you to specify how any remaining funds are dispersed. You can name a favorite charity or the park you and your pets used to visit together as the benefactor.

You already treat your pets like they are part of your family, so including them in your estate planning documents may just be the right decision for you and your four-legged friends.

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