Pet Trusts

Our office also provides the following service: Pet Trusts

A Pet Trust provides for the care and maintenance of your beloved pets in the event of disability or death. The Pet Trust allow you peace of mind in knowing that these family members will also be cared for in the best way possible.

There are states that do not recognize the validity of a Pet Trust, and certain other states that are discretionary regarding the enforcement of these types of trusts.  There are four states that do not have Pet Trust laws:  Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota and Mississippi, as of 2012.  Other states impose funding limits for pet trusts that allow the court to reduce or redirect trust property that the court determines to be in excess of the intended use set in the trust document.

In Florida, Ch. 736.0408, Florida Statutes was enacted in 2006.  Florida allows for a Trust to be created for the care of an animal or animals that live during the settlor’s or owner’s lifetime.  Upon the death of the last surviving animal, the trust terminates.  A Pet Trust allows for the enforceable care of your pet upon your death.  The Trust allows for peace of mind knowing that your instructions will be followed.  Your instructions should be specific, such as if your cat, dog or snake only likes a particular brand of food, a favorite type of toy or a certain veterinarian, you must direct the Trust to follow your directions in these events.

The Trust goes into effect while the pet owner is still alive and can provide instructions should the owner become unable to care for their animal.  As a pet owner, you should be ready to give the name and address of a trustee and successor trustee, the name and address of a caregiver and a successor caregiver.  The animal needs to be carefully identified to prevent fraud and that may require photographs, microchip identifications and possibly DNA samples.

Careful planning for the future of your pet is not only a responsible action, but provides peace of mind.