Many of us who own pets consider them to be more than just pets, but a part of the family. Some people are now acting to plan for their pets in case the pet outlives the owner. Pet owners can now not only determine who is to care for their animal, but also can leave specific instructions regarding a variety of areas of care. These might include who is to care for the pet, who back-up selections are for that position, what veterinarian should be used, specific medical care instructions, food and nutrition instructions, grooming instructions and what is to happen to the pet’s remains upon its death. Monies can be set aside to provide funds for this care.
The legal vehicle for such planning is referred to as a pet trust. Texas now has specific laws authorizing the creation and enforceability of a trust to provide for the care of an animal. These trusts can be set up as part of a person’s will to take effect when that person dies, or they can be set up during a person’s lifetime. The latter form of trust is called a living trust. The living trust is generally more expensive to create, but since it takes effect right away, it can provides protection against a circumstance where you are disabled and unable to care for your pet.
If you would like to discuss creating a trust to care for your pets in case they outlive you, I’d be happy to meet with you.