Purposeful Advocacy for New Jersey
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What Should I Know About Pet Trusts?

People are taking better care of their pets than ever before and often these furry creatures are an important part of the family. Who will care for your pets when you die or if you become incapacitated or hospitalized? Because a pet is legally considered personal property, it cannot be named as a beneficiary in a will. However, you can choose a pet caregiver and set aside money for your pet in a will to ensure that your pet will be cared for. You could also create a pet trust which provides oversight over how the funds are spent.

A pet trust is a formal mechanism to hold funds “in trust” for the benefit of the grantor’s pets. Payments to a designated caregiver are made on a regular basis. In certain cases, a trust can even mean the difference between life and death for the pet.

To create a pet trust, you will need to name a caretaker. The more specific the instructions, the better. An owner can even require the caretaker to bring the pet for visits with the incapacitated owner. A person with multiple pets may want to specify that they continue to live together. A trustee should be named who disburses the funds to the caretaker. There are also not-for-profit sanctuary organizations that will provide perpetual care programs for pets if you do not have someone that you know in mind. There are many things to consider when deciding how to ensure that your pet is cared for. Consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to find out more about pet trusts.

Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.