Berman & Asbel, LLP

Is a pet trust right for you?

For many people, pets are just as important as family members. A favorite pet gives unconditional love, is always happy to be around their human friend and is perpetually cute. It’s no secret that some pets are a person’s best friend. Because of this, some pet owners don’t know if they could live life without their furry friend.

But what would happen to the pet if their human caretaker passes away or is no longer able to take care of the pet? Many pet owners may never consider this question. This post will explain how pet trusts can give owners some peace of mind. 

Basically, a pet care trust works like a traditional trust, in that a pet owner can set aside money and property specifically for the care of the pet. For instance, money for health care, grooming and food can be set aside and transferred directly to a trustee to manage upon the pet owner’s death.

Pennsylvania law allows for the creation of pet trusts. While a pet owner does not need millions of dollars to leave to their pet (like Leona Helmsley). All that is needed is a desire to make sure that one’s pet(s) are taken care of. Like any other trust, the basics include property and/or money for the pet; a trustee, which can be a person or organization charged with taking care of the pet according to the testator’s (the person creating the trust) directives.

A skilled estate planning attorney can help a pet owner sort through the questions that need to be answered in order to create a trust that best suits a pet’s well being. 

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