Pet Trusts: Ensure Your Pet Is Always Taken Care Of

Pets can be just as important to a household as human members of the family. As such, when estate planning, it makes sense to want to ensure your pet is safe and taken care of in the future.

A pet trust is created to provide for an animal during or after the grantor’s lifetime. It will terminate after the death of the animal or, if there is more than one animal, after the death of the last surviving animal.

What to Include in a Pet Trust

A pet trust can be as detailed or general as the grantor would like. However, it’s important to provide clear instructions on how to successfully care for the pet.

A solid pet trust should include:

  1. naming the pet(s), trustee, and caregiver;
  2. a detailed description of the pet’s standard of living and care;
  3. the funds the caregiver will need to cover costs and how these costs will be distributed;
  4. detailed instructions for the pet’s diet (food brand, feeding schedule, or dietary restrictions);
  5. veterinary information;
  6. a timeline of inspections to the caregiver’s home to ensure your pet(s) are cared for properly; and
  7. arrangements for after the pet has passed.

Pet Trust Statutes

Every state in the United States and the District of Columbia has laws that govern the construction of pet trusts.

The pet trust statutes in Tennessee are:

  1. The trust can be created to provide care for an animal. The trust will terminate upon the death of the animal and may not be enforced for more than 90 years.
  2. A trust can be enforced by a trustee, trust advisor, trust protector, or another person. If no person is appointed, it will be appointed by the court.
  3. All property of a trust must be applied for its intended use, until the death of the pet(s). If there are extra funds after every pet has passed on, the funds will be inherited by the grantor’s relatives (unless there is another plan in place).

Creating Successful Pet Plans

Our estate planning attorneys can help you create an ironclad pet trust. We are dedicated to delivering a top-notch experience to every client and will ensure your wishes are met.

Call our firm today at (931) 361-4477 or contact us online for a complimentary consultation.

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