You may have heard or even joked about Pet Trusts, but they are a real, enforceable part of estate planning. They may sound crazy at first, because simply asking a friend of family member to watch over your pets may seem sufficient. However, informal agreements concerning your pet’s care upon your death or incapacity are not enforceable and leave far too much to chance. A Pet Trust is a valid way to make sure your furry family members do not end up in the pound.
Utah law allows for “honorary trusts,” which can be set up for the care of any pet or other domestic animal, including horses, dogs, cats, and birds. When a Pet Trust is created, funds are set aside to provide for your animals’ on-going maintenance and care in the event of your incapacity or death. Like with any other trust, when creating a Pet Trust you appoint a trustee who will be in charge of managing those funds. The trustee may only use those specific funds to take care of your animals.
Through a pet trust, you can specifically designate how the funds should be used and invested, and you can outline what should be done with any remaining funds after the passing of your pets. For example, many people choose to leave the remainder to a charity. A Pet Trust terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust.
A Pet Trust is the only guaranteed way of making sure your animals will receive continued care when you are not capable of giving it to them. It is better than leaving money for your pet in a will because money left in a will can be contested by heirs during probate. A trust avoids this possibility entirely, giving you complete control over the designated assets.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We represent individuals and business owners and specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about estate planning, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.