How to Set Up a Pet Trust
Are you wanting to set up a Pet Trust but don't know where to start? It would be our honor to help guide you through the legalities of financially protecting your beloved pet in the case of an emergency.
Assemble Your Pet Fund
Pet owners around the world are acknowledging the benefits of making proper arrangements and plans for a pet trust fund. There is a small likelihood that someone else will treat your pet in the same manner you would, without proper instructions. Therefore, it is highly important that you leave adequate funding and directions for the individual that will be responsible for caring for your beloved furry friend.
Here are some steps that will help guide you through the process of establishing your very own pet trust:
1. Select a beneficiary
2. Recognize that the beneficiary you select will be deemed the main day to day caregiver of your pet. With this in mind, most pet owners will select a family member or a close friend who is already involved and familiar with your pet’s lifestyle and environment. Your pet will be more likely to have a connection with a familiarized individual and will acclimate and adjust to the change much better than if you selected a distant relative or friend to be your pet’s caregiver. Pro Tip: It is also very wise to select a successor beneficiary that would act in place if circumstances do not allow for the initial beneficiary to act.
3. Name a trustee
4. This individual will be in charge of your pet’s financial assets and will be delegated the duties to maintain proper funding and control expenses. We advise you to select your trustee based on detailed personal judgment and trust — you do not want your pet’s main form of financial security to be faulty or unreliable!
5. Eloquently describe the needs of your pet
6. If your pet is picky, describe every detail possible when setting up your pet trust to ensure that their special needs are met. Most pet owners disclose when to schedule veterinary visits, specific walking hours, a certain pet food brand to purchase, or even a favorite toy. It’s in the details — make sure to include what is important to you and your pet!
7. Provide medical information
8. Be sure that your pet’s medical records are organized and specified so that they are easily accessible to your pet’s caregiver in case of an emergency. Pro Tip: Provide a complete list of wishes and duties to be completed upon your pet’s death, such as burial or cremation
9. Set aside adequate funding & prepare detailed funding distribution
10. Take note of approximately how much you spend on your pet in one year, then factor in possible costs of emergency medical bills or any expenses that your new pet caregiver might run into. This estimation will help you prepare a detailed funding plan to provide to the caregiver to cover the means of your pet’s care.
Setting up a Pet Trust does not have to be complicated, but it does require research and planning — which you’ve already started doing, if you read this! Congrats on making a huge step in protecting your pet from harm's way when you can’t physically be there.