How to Establish a Pet Trust in Arizona
How will Spot, your beloved family dog, be cared for after you are gone? Who will look after Spot to make sure he is cared for, loved and fed? How will you know for certain that those who will look after him will have the money and resources to do so? A pet trust can provide answers to these questions.
A pet trust is a legal arrangement, which can be made part of your existing trust, that provides for the care and maintenance of a pet (or pets) in the event of the owner’s death or incapacitation and functions the same as any other trust. Trusts are legal arrangements through which one party, a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another party, a “beneficiary.” With a pet trust, the trustee makes payments on a regular basis to your pet’s caregiver and pays for your pet’s needs. A pet trust allows you to name the caretaker, provide care instructions, including anything that is important to you and your pet such as a preferred brand of food, activities your pet especially enjoys, etc., and allocate funds in your estate to provide for the continued care of your pet. A pet trust also allows you to name successive caretakers in case your preferred caretaker becomes unable or unwilling to take care of your pet.
While you can give directions in your will to leave your pet to a caretaker, there is no guarantee that the caretaker will continue to care for your pet. A pet trust can provide a little more security for your pet and peace of mind for you because the trustee is obligated to ensure your pet is cared for.