What Is A Pet Trust?
A pet trust is a planning technique used to provide for your pets after you have passed away. A pet trust is used to provide money to care for your pets if you are deceased and unable to do so. A pet trust may be part of an overall trust structure, or may be a completely separate trust.
A pet trust allows you to choose who will care for your pet. This important decision is one you do not want to leave to chance, and you certainly don’t want someone who doesn’t like pets to be tasked with caring for the pets. Since you can set aside a certain amount of money to care for your pets, and the amount of money is specifically for the care of pets and not for other purposes, you can know that the pet will be taken care of properly. Since you get to choose the caretaker and the amount of money set aside for your pet, you can know that you are still caring for your beloved pet, even after you are gone.
A pet trust can benefit you because:
- You can choose who will care for your pet.
- You can choose how much money is set aside specifically to care for your pet.
- You can ensure your pet will be cared for in the manner in which you want the pet to be able to live after you are gone.
- You can know your pet will be loved and cared for even after you are gone.
If you have a beloved household pet and you want to make sure the pet is cared for after you are gone, then a pet trust may be right for you!
A Basic Definition Of A Pet Trust In Colorado
As a basic definition, pet trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to leave money to care for your pet after you die, pick who will care for your pet, and choose how much money should be used on to care for your pet.
In Colorado, a pet trust can last for 21 years, or until the pet passes away, whichever comes first. For this reason, pet trusts are most helpful and useful for household pets, like dogs, cats, or other domestic animals. Animals with longer life spans may need something different. A pet trust may be too short for a turtle expected to live 120 years!
You are able to determine who will get any assets remaining in a pet trust after you have passed away, so that can be quite helpful. You can give whatever assets are left over to your children, or to a charity to benefit your pets, whatever you want to do.
Pet trusts are most useful for those who have beloved household pets, and want to ensure they are cared for after someone passes on.
Who Could Benefit From A Pet Trust?
There are many reasons a person might need an pet trust, like the following:
- You want to make sure your pets are cared for by those who like / love animals like you do
- You think of your pets as furry children, and want to care for them like you would your children after you are gone.
Many people consider pets to be family members, and treat them as such. Certainly, human children and canine or feline children are different and should be treated differently, but if your pets are part of your family, a pet trust can definitely benefit you!
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The Specifics For Pet Trusts
✅ Decide who you want to care for your pet – name address and phone number
✅ Decide how much you want to leave the pet trust
✅ Decide how you want the money to be used – for food / shelter / toys, or other purposes
✅ Directions on how and when to use assets to treat pet, or to care for pet at the end of life
The Basics For Pet Trusts
✅ List of Assets, including approximate value – if you have investment assets, please bring a recent statement from the brokerage house that holds the assets
✅ A recent bank statement
✅ List of names, addresses, and phone numbers for those to whom you plan on leaving assets in a will – usually this is children, relatives, or even charities
✅ A copy of the deed to any real estate you own – if you can find it
✅ Decide who you want to use as your agent under a power of attorney, and that person’s name, address, and phone number, if not included above
✅ Decide who you want to be in charge of distributing your assets upon your death, including that person’s name, address, and phone number, if not included above
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Who Is The Best Fit For A Pet Trust?
Setting up a pet trust is for those who have the love for their pets, and also the means to set up a pet trust. When you set up a pet trust, you are specifically setting aside money for the pets, and that can take money away from children, or other family members who might otherwise receive assets when you pass away. If setting up a pet trust would upset your children or heirs, then a pet trust might not be for you.
However, if all of these are true:
- You love your pets
- You want to make sure they are taken care of the best they can be when you are gone
- You have the means to do so without taking away from others
Then a pet trust is for you!