Do I Need a Pet Trust Attorney?

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25th Nov 2014

To many people, pets can be a part of the family. Whether it’s a loyal dog or a dainty cat, an old turtle or a wise cracking parakeet, pets are indeed an important part of the family for the owners that take care of them. There are several circumstances that could take place to prevent you from taking care of your animal friends that often are not taken into consideration. We can start by discussing a pet trust such as what it is, and when you might need it.

What is a Pet Trust?

A Pet Trust is a legally protected means of providing for the care, maintenance, and well being of your pet in the event that you are unable to care for them for whatever reason. Whether the case is temporary, such as an illness, or permanent, such as your unfortunate passing, considerations need to be made as to how and by whom your pet will be cared for and when and to whom your pet’s ownership will be transferred. A pet trust is not only meant for the animal itself, but also everything from medications and doctor visits needed, to sitters and walkers of the pet. Favorite toys and/or cages that will be transferred to the new owner as well are additionally covered in this agreement.
A pet trust is considered a lawful trust, but is considered noncharitable. A pet trust covers any “animal” listed, which is broadly defined in the law to include any domestic or pet animal. A pet trust only ends in the event of the pets passing, in which case any funds left over allotted for care of the pet are distributed to the designated beneficiaries, which you may designate when setting up the pet trust.
Not having a pet trust set up can literally mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Without a pet trust, pets are commonly impounded. Particularly for older pets, this could result in the execution of the animal as often times older pets are undesired by new owners.
Here are some factors that may increase your interest in meeting with an attorney to set up a pet trust.
Health Concerns

Pet owners should not only consider the health of their pets, but should take their own health into consideration as well. Consider what would happen to your pet if such circumstances took place as to you becoming too sick to care for your pet, or in the unfortunate event of your passing, and ask yourself if your pet is protected. Who will feed your pet? Who will take him home? These are important considerations to make.
If you’re sick with a serious illness or dealing with a major health condition, it’s important to consider the possibility that there may come a time when you cannot care for your pet. Mental health may be another consideration. Pet trusts are not only important in caring for the welfare of your pet in your passing, but in the event that you are unable to effectively communicate how your pet will be cared for.

Your age should be considered as well as to your risk factor for being unable suddenly to care for your pet. On the other side of the equation, an older pet will require more medical care and specialty diets, so plan carefully. Ensure that your beneficiary will be prepared for any health issues that your pet might suffer from as well.
All that being said, it is still important to consider the possibility of freak occurrences that could separate you from your beloved pets. Be prepared for anything.
Who Will Care for Your Pet?

Wills are designed to set up beneficiaries for assets, but since pets are part of the family, they deserve consideration as well. When designating a beneficiary for transfer of pet ownership in the event that you can no longer care for your pet, be sure to consider your beneficiary’s ability to care for the pet. Consider the home your pet will live in, as well as whether the new owner will properly manage the responsibility of providing food or health care for your pet if the need arises. Funds are mandatory for pet trusts, so there should be some money set aside for care of the pet, but considerations should be made as well for the amount that will be set aside. Does your pet have additional health expenses or needs? Does your pet require monthly medication, and is he/she on a special diet? Ensure your pet not only has a new home, but will be cared for when he arrives there.
Basic needs and care aside, every pet deserves a loving home, and it’s your responsibility to make such considerations when setting up a pet trust with a qualified pet trust attorney.
Pet Trust Attorneys

Setting up a pet trust with a reputable pet trust attorneyis just as important as the pet trust itself. Having a correctly designated and legally binding pet trust in place can mean the difference between your pet being properly cared for, and them being left alone with no one to care for them. Having an attorney with experience in setting up such pet trusts is crucial to this process.
Dwight E. Tompkins is here to help with setting up your pet trust documents and answering any questions you may have about the process. Planning ahead is always the best policy. For questions, or to schedule a consultation, you can reach the office at (714) 385-0044. Dwight E. Tompkins is a reputable pet trust attorney with years of experience setting up trusts of all kinds, and is willing to help you set up your pet trust as soon as possible.

Remember, your pets are a part of the family. Protect them, and provide for them in the event that something may happen. Peace of mind is key, as well as providing for a happy, healthy pet regardless of circumstance.

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