Some New Thoughts About Pet Trusts

Earlier, I wrote about the importance of setting up a Pet Trust to take care of your pets after you pass, but what happens to those very same pets if you become incapacitated? If your Pet Trust is one that is established via your Will, it won’t be set up and funded until after you pass. The same is true if you have a Pet Trust that is included in your Revocable Living Trust in that portion dealing with the Trust upon your death.

Recently, I have started including language in the Powers of Attorney that I draft for clients that authorize the Agent with the Power to set up and fund the Pet Trust upon the incapacitation of the client, including getting the Pet into the custody of the Pet Guardian and the money set aside for the Pet Trustee to pay for the care of client’s pets.

You could also create a Pet Trust right now, while you are capable of taking care of your pets, fund the Trust with your money, be the Trustee and Guardian so long as you are capable of doing so, and then name a Successor Trustee and Successor Guardian for when you are no longer capable of taking care of them.

Either way, it is important to plan for your pets not only after your death but after you can no longer care for them while you are living. They are just like children. We need to prepare for their care in every way we can!