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Pets are one of the most beloved things we can have in our lives, and often times we wish to protect them just like we would any other loved one in the event of our death. Fortunately, there is a way to do just that—setting up a Pet Trust allows you to lay out specific, legally binding guidelines as to who your pet’s caretaker will be and how the trust funds will be used for your pet’s care.

Benefits of Pet Trusts

Pet Trusts avoid the probate process and are effective immediately upon your death, unlike a will. The probate process can be very expensive, timely, and exhausting for those who are left to deal with those matters upon your death. 

Pet Trusts also allow you to lay out specific details and requirements as to where your pet will live, what type of conditions they will live in, and even things such as the amount of time your chosen caregiver must have to devote to the care and well-being of your pet. It is also important to include provisions about any illness, disease, or allergies your pet may have in order to ensure that they stay happy and healthy when they are in the care of your chosen caretaker. 

Protections from Pet Trusts Law

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed a pet trust law. In Texas, the law allows an individual pet owner to establish a statutory pet trust for an animal is alive during the designated settlor’s lifetime. The trust will then terminate upon the death of the animal named in the trust, or upon the death of the last surviving animal covered by the trust. 

Setting up a Pet Trust allows you to provide for your pet’s future care and financial needs, and provides guidelines that your attorney will use to instruct your trustee specifically as to how to care for your pet in the exact way that you want them to be cared for in the event of your death or incapacity. 

It is important to keep in mind that a Pet Trust is a legal instrument, and you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to determine the best trust terms and structure for your specific needs and goals. An attorney can help design the trust in a way that is consistent with your goals for your pet’s future and is compliant with the laws in your state.