Pets in the Will

Americans love their pets. As such, people are spending more money on gourmet pet food, toys, and dog walkers. Between 1994 and 2018, Americans increased the amount they spent on their pets from $17 billion to $72 billion.  However, what about caring for Fido once you have passed away? Can you leave money to Fido in your will?  If you want to make sure and take care of your pet if you become disabled or after your death, you can create a trust which provides for your pet.  In Texas, there are two types of pet trusts: testamentary and inter vivos.

 

A testamentary pet trust is a pet trust created in the pet owner’s will.  The trust must have a trustee who will hold the money granted for the care of the pet, and designate a caregiver for the pet.  There is no specific limitation on the amount of money that can be placed in the trust; however, the amount of money must be reasonably related to the cost of caring for the various pets for the rest of their expected lives.  Many pet owners who create pet trusts include specific details on food and diet, daily routines, and other care which is essential to the pet owner.

 

An inter vivos trust is not as popular as a testamentary pet trust because of the costs associated with creating and administering it.  A pet owner can create an inter vivos trust during their lifetime which includes similar restrictions as the testamentary trust.  Since an inter vivos trust is set up during the pet owner’s lifetime, it is even more important there is a backup caregiver and a third party who is aware of the trust details.  The same details which can be included in a testamentary trust can be included in an inter vivos trust.

 

Whichever trust you decide to use, peace of mind should come in that you can care for your pet when you are no longer there to be the one feeding, brushing, and playing with them. Rosenblatt Law Firm has created a number of pet trusts uniquely tailored to each pet-owner’s situation, and we are here to help you.