Our pets are part of the family. Should something happen to you, who do you want to take care of your pet? Knowing that the person who you want to take care of your furry friend will incur expenses, would you want some of your financial resources allocated to their new caregiver to offset the costs?
When our pets go over the Rainbow Bridge, we are devasted. We have lost a family member who has brought so much joy in our life. But what happens if we leave this earth before they do? What happens to them?
All pets have needs and most pet parents want to make sure that they are taken care of. Expenses can include:
• Nutritional and hydration needs
• Sanitation and grooming
• Veterinary care
• Boarding instructions
• Toys and Treats
Whether your animal requires having their fur or hooves cleaned, whether it needs its droppings picked up, its litter box changed, or its cage cleaned, these issues are of vital importance to keeping your pet healthy and contented.
Why a Pet Trust Is a Good Solution
Although in the state of Texas, you cannot legally make your pet a beneficiary of your estate there is a way to make sure that resources are allocated for their care. A Pet Trust can do so. It will keep your pet well-tended in your absence.
How can you do this? You can transfer a specified amount of money into the trust or purchasing a life insurance policy that names the trust as beneficiary. We will also help you to set up a method for the trustee to pay the caregiver at regular intervals. Obviously, you will choose people you trust for both roles.
The amount of assets in a pet trust needs to be adequate for the remaining lifetime of the pet. Some animals, like cockatoos and macaws, can live over 100 years. Even with a typical lifespan of 50 to 70 years, the physical facility, food, veterinary care, and grooming a large bird for five to seven decades can add up to a tidy sum. It can be a challenge to find someone you can rely on to provide the safety and nurturing your pets deserve for such a long time. Many of these birds pass through two or three generations of owners. While other animals such as dogs only have a 12-15 year life expectancy.
We will also assist you in approximating costs the pet trust will have to cover by considering the type of animal, the typical price of annual care, the pet’s age and life expectancy, and the possibility of emergency surgery or prolonged veterinary care. In addition, plans must be made for alternative care if the chosen caretaker (or trustee) is unavailable for some period of time, or permanently.
Many people who complete DIY pet trusts fail to designate a human beneficiary who has the responsibility for the pet and can enforce the terms of the trust. Also, the trust needs to contain a provision that states what will happen to any remaining assets after the demise of the last pet the trust covers.
After your pet passes on, the pet trust terminates when there is no longer a live animal covered by the trust. If there are any remaining assets in the trust when the animal dies, those assets will be distributed to the settlor (if he or she is still living) or will be distributed to the other beneficiaries under the settlor’s will. Other people will choose to give the remaining funds to their favorite animal-focused charity.
You can have a durable power of attorney that appoints an agent to take care of your pets and authorizes that person to use the necessary funds from your assets to pay for the animal’s food, grooming, veterinary bills, and other expenses. With this type of planning, your pet should not get abandoned and left to fend for itself if you have an emergency like an illness or injury.
If there is no other person in your home to care for your pets, you might want to consider carrying a pet information card in your wallet. First responders can contact the person you designate on the card to fetch your pet and take care of him for you.