The loss of a pet is heartbreaking. But have you thought about what happens to your pet, when you die?
Your pets depend on you, they are loyal to you. They know they can count on you. You can only imagine their sense of loss when you’re no longer in their lives.
The Humane Society estimates that between 100,000 and 500,000 pets end up in shelters
every year after their owners die or become incapacitated.
Would you want that to happen to your pet?
Connecticut law provides pet owners with an estate planning tool to plan for our pets’ care at our death or incapacity – it’s called a pet trust.
What is a pet trust?
A pet trust is a legally enforceable arrangement that specifies how your pets will be provided for and taken care of financially if you pass away or become ill or disabled. You’ll put aside some cash (or other form of assets) that will be held for the care of your pets, and you’ll choose one or more caregivers to care for your pets in the manner which you spell out. For example, you can include:
- How often to feed them and what they should be fed
- What veterinarian should they see and how often
- Specific burial or cremation arrangements once the pet passes
Why set up a pet trust?
Because you’re a responsible pet parent! Your pet has brought you immeasurable joy – you want assurance knowing that they will be safe and provided for when you can no longer be there for them.
To set up a pet trust, you need to:
1. Choose a trust protector – someone designated to act on behalf of the pets named in the pet trust
2. Select trustees – One or more people to care for your pets or who has the authority to appoint a caretaker
3. Identify which pets are to be beneficiaries of the pet trust
4. Have a source of funding to pay for care of your pets. For example, a lump sum payment from your estate, or designating your Pet Trust the beneficiary of a modest life insurance policy.
Think about how your pets have added to your life – then take the steps to decide their fate. And take comfort in knowing that a pet trust will ensure that they will be protected and cared for in the years to come.
When you’re ready to include your pets in your estate plan, give us a call.