A pet trust is an option for pet owners who desire to provide for their pets after the owner passes away. It is a legal arrangement creating a legal obligation for a ‘care taker’ of the owner’s choosing, to provide care for their pet. The trust language also holds the caretaker accountable for the funds left behind for the pet’s benefit. The trust ends when the last surviving animal dies, and stipulates to whom the remaining funds (if any) are to be distributed.
With a pet trust, the owner leaves specific instructions as to the day-to-day care and comfort of the pet, and often includes instructions as to the pet’s favorite toys, food and sleeping arrangements.
In determining how much to set aside to fund the future care of a pet, an owner should consider the life expectancy of the pet, and the projected cost of the care.
Choosing a caretaker is a very important decision for an owner, and naming an alternate is recommended in case the first choice can’t take the pet when the time comes. Alternatively, or as a last resort, the owner could designate an animal rescue organization or a private animal sanctuary as caretaker.