Set Up a Pet Trust: Continuing Care For Dogs

yay-8127576Well we’ve covered a ton of issues regarding the care of your dog.  We plan for the care of our spouse and kids…let’s not forget another member of our family, our dog.  He or she has been a loyal and loving part of our family for a long time and needs to be considered.  Let’s explore a few of our options.

Pet trusts are authorized in several states.  They can be set up at minimal costs using standard provisions of state law.  It’s even possible to find free forms on line.  You’ll first of all need to find a trustee.  This is usually a relative or friend and of course can be the same person that you’ve named in your will.  You should also identify a pet caregiver.    Outline your dog’s standard of living and the level of care that you require for your dog.  The trust should have photos and DNA of your dog in order to prevent fraud.  Keep a copy with your financial papers and give copies to the person with your financial power of attorney, your executor, a neighbor and anyone you’ve named to provide care.

Another option is to include your dog in your financial power of attorney.  Authorize this person to spend money to care for your dog and possibly to choose a long-term caregiver for them if you haven’t already selected one.

Advertisement If you decide not to set up a formal trust for your pet then In your will you should include the name of a friend or relative who will care for your dog when you’re gone.  Along with care instructions you can also include burial instructions.

In the event that none of the above options are available for your dog then another approach to this would be to pre select a shelter that will care for your dog.  Be certain that it’s an established institution since they will most likely require a fee that could be anywhere from $1000 and up to guarantee continued care.

Choosing one of these options will offer the peace of mind that you require to make certain your dog will always be cared for in your absence.

For professional assistance with a Pet Trust, we recommend these resources:

Pet Trust Primer | ASPCA

Pet Trust Overview | LegalZoom.com