Taking Care Of Your Pet In A Trust

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Hi there, my name’s Bridget Mackay. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, California. And this is Talia, my three-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog.

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about taking care of your pet in your trust. There’s a lot of ways to do it and a lot of folks like to do it, but one of the ways, and the most complete way, is to create a pet trust within your trust in which you fund it with money, $10,000, $5,000, whatever it is. You appoint a trustee who takes care of your dog, and/or cat, or whatever companion animal you have, a horse. They can be responsible for placing them after your death, for making sure that their vet bills are paid, their food is provided. If they’re an older pet that they get placed in some kind of pet retirement location, anything, you think of that you want to have done for that pet you can do through a pet trust.

Other folks choose to just designate a certain amount of money for the care and placement of that pet and the money goes to the person who takes custody of their companion animal after they die. That sometimes is more common ’cause we don’t know what pet we’re going to have at the time we pass away. And then, I’ve also, for folks who don’t have kids, but they just have pets, I’ve written trusts that the whole estate goes to the care of the pets. You might remember, Leona Helmsley, who was a big, a hotel heiress, who left everything to her dog, I think his name was Sparky. So there are options for our four-legged loved ones in your trust. Make sure you get in touch with an experienced estate planning attorney and they can help you make the right choice for you.

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