The bond between people and pets is special. For many pet parents, pets are considered members of the family. Losing a pet is exceedingly difficult, but have you ever thought about your pet losing you? Imagine how hard that will be for your pet?
Sadly, Animal Control may take custody of pets after their owners die if there is no one to care for them. Your pet will already be so sad after losing you, so being taken away from its familiar environment by strangers would surely be even more traumatizing. One of your last expressions of love to your pet can be to make sure your pet’s needs are taken care of when you no longer can care for your pet.
You can protect your pet’s future just like you would protect the rest of your family. Under Florida Statute, § 736.0408, one option you have is to use a Pet Trust. A Pet Trust is a trust that is created to provide care for pets after their owner dies. With a Pet Trust, you can decide who will care for your pet and where your pet will live when your pet can longer be with you. You can designate someone you know, and your pet knows, or you can designate a pet sanctuary where your pet can live. The Pet Trust also provides the funds to make sure your pet's needs are met.
Your family members can look to your Pet Trust to follow your wishes on how to care for your pet and not worry about the cost of making sure your pet is loved and cared for, because you already took care of the details as part of your estate plan. There are many options to creating a Pet Trust.
One option is an inter vivos trust created during the pet owner’s life. Another option is a testamentary trust created under a pet owner’s will. Our firm can guide you through the steps of the process. With our help, you will fund the trust with assets to be used for the benefit of your pets. You also designate a trustee of the Pet Trust whose job it is to make sure the money is used for your pet’s care. The Pet Trust also names a pet caregiver for your pet, to provide for food, shelter, veterinary care, and lots of love. The pet caregiver can be a different person that the trustee who manages the financial side of caring for your pet. The Pet Trust also allows you to designate who will get any remaining assets in the Pet Trust after your pet passes away after living a long and well cared for life. A Pet Trust is an option you have in order to give yourself peace of mind and the reassurance that your pets will continue to be loved and cared for even if they outlive you.