For many people, pets are part of the family. So why not treat them that way in your estate planning and create a pet trust?
If you truly want your pet to be taken care of in the manner you dictate, then you may want to consider creating a trust for your pet. There are several types of trusts including a Statutory and a Freestanding Pet Trust. If you are unfamiliar with these, Joseph Ecuyer breaks them down simply on an Estate Tax Blog post. Consulting with a trusted estate planning attorney can also help you determine if this type of trust is right for your estate planning needs.
During your research, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The level of care your pet requires. Some animals eat certain foods, take specific medications or require special treatment in their environment.
- The individual you would name as pet guardian. You want to select someone you trust and that is willing to take on the responsibility of caring for a living being.
- Benefits of a trust. Some tax advantages are available if one creates a pet trust. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to understand how this works.
Pets love and comfort you in your daily life so you should make sure to reward them with the same love and support by considering their future should they outlive you.