How to Set up a Pet Trust
If you love your pets as much as I do, you will want to provide for them in case something happens to you. That is why it is important to set up a pet trust.
Consult an Estate Planning AttorneyIt is important when setting up a Trust that the Trust is written so that it complies with the law and that it is funded. An Attorney with Estate Planning experience can set up a Pet Trust for you that will spell out the following things:
a. Who will provide the physical care for your pets upon your passing (Pet Guardian);
b. Who will manage the money you leave for the care of your pets (Pet Trust Trustee);
c. How much money you will be setting aside to care for your pets; and
d. Exactly the type of care you want your pets to receive and you authorize the Trustee to expend money on.
Decide Who to TrustIt is important for you to decide which person (relative or friend) will not only be able to give your pets the care you want them to have, but who is also willing to serve as that person. Taking on someone else's pets is sort of like taking on someone else's children, so you really have to have a heart-to-heart with the person and decide whether the person has the time, the ability, and the space to care for your pets. If you do not have such a person in your life, there are non-profit organizations which will agree to be the recipient of your pets. You will need to research to find an organization and, again, you have to call them now and ask them what their requirements are (both $$ and other) and whether they will agree to accept your pets.
Decide How Much Money to Set AsideAs far as the money goes, you should have some kind of idea how much you spend on your pets per year. Make sure you think of every from food and treats, to grooming and veterinary bills. Also think about how the vet bills may increase as your pets age. Try to be as honest with yourself as possible so that the person who receives your pets doesn't feel they are a burden. Burdens sometimes end up being "unloaded" and you don't want that for your pets.
If you have named an organization, that organization will tell you how much they expect for you to set aside.