Setting up a trust plan for your pets

The Bingham Legal Group PC recently discussed planning for the future of your pets in the event of your death. In that blog post, we touched upon the very basics with including your pets in your will and ensuring they have someone to take care of them after you are gone. In this post, we will discuss the benefits of a pet trust for Detroit residents, as well as what you might put in a pet trust.

According to the Michigan Legislature, pet trusts are valid in the state of Michigan, and may be put in use for 21 years or when there is no longer a pet to be taken care of – whichever occurs sooner. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a trust is that you can personalize it the way you like and be quite specific in your preferences. A will, on the other hand, tends to be general and may result in your pets not being taken care of the way you would like.

How might you set up a pet trust? You probably have a certain food you like your pet to eat, as well as a preferred veterinarian and a schedule for vet visits. Your pet might be on a certain type of medication. He or she could also enjoy going to the park, on car rides or simply being cuddled for an hour or so each evening. You can include any of these requests in a pet trust, and the trustee would be tasked to make sure your specific wishes are carried out.

Upon finalizing your trust plans, you fund the trust by setting aside money or assets to be used for your pet’s care after your death. The trustee would distribute these funds to your pet’s caregiver to use on food, vet visits, medication, toys and other pet-related needs.

While setting up your pet trust, it might be a good idea to discuss your wishes with the person or people you hope to designate as your pet’s future caregiver. You can learn more about creating a personalized plan for your loved ones by visiting our page on trusts.