In several posts on this blog, we discussed setting up a trust plan to make sure your pets are taken care of if you are incapacitated or pass away before they do. As we pointed out, a pet trust may be the most effective way in ensuring the needs of your “fur babies” are met. At the Bingham Legal Group PC, we understand that you and other Detroit residents want to be sure your loved ones, including your pets, are provided for.
As you know, a pet trust can provide specific instructions for the trustee regarding veterinary care, a specific type of pet food and how to care for the animals. According to the ASPCA, your pet trust can be as detailed as you wish. You might also want to consider the scope of the responsibility you are asking of your designated trustee. Dogs and cats can live well over a decade, and some animals, including parrots, may live for much longer. Typically, you would fund the pet trust to cover the expenses of taking care of the animals. It may also be a nice gesture to include a monetary reward or other asset, such as a treasured heirloom, as a thank-you to the trustee for taking over these responsibilities.
If your preferred trustee, such as a sibling or adult child, agrees to care for your pets, you might feel as if nothing else needs to be done, besides setting up the trust’s instructions and naming him or her as trustee. However, it is wise to consider the possibility that, even if he or she is willing, the trustee may not be able to care for your pets for the rest of their lives. Your trustee may develop an allergy or could experience an unforeseen circumstance. He or she might unexpectedly pass away. Therefore, it would be prudent to name a second and possibly a third trustee to cover any of these uncertainties. You may learn more about planning for your loved ones by visiting our page on trusts.