A Trust for Your Pet?

30 Apr

Bruiser & George

Safeguarding Your Pet’s Future – a two-part series
 Metro® Boston, Publication Date: February 9, 2011

 Metro® Boston, Publication Date: February 16, 2011

By Attorney George Warshaw

Sounds kind of silly; create a trust for your pet? 

Most people think of Leona Helmsley who set aside millions for the care of her dog, “Trouble,” but you don’t need millions to look after your pet. Actually, you don’t need very much at all. 

I created one for my rescue dog, “Bruiser” when I was confronted with two questions: “who will take care of Bruiser if I am not around, became seriously ill or incapacitated” –  and if that happened, “how do I set aside some money for Bruiser’s future care?” 

Thousands of others have done the same for their dogs, cats, birds and horses. 

A “pet trust,” as it is typically called, provides a way to structure and pay for your pet’s food, medical and veterinary care, pet insurance, housing and more. It’s the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t wind up in a shelter, abandoned or euthanized. 

Massachusetts recently enacted a law that permits you to establish a trust for your pet’s care. 

Let’s face it; if you don’t have kids, you have to be concerned about the care of your dog, cat, bird or horse if you or your partner becomes seriously ill, injured or deceased.

 Here’s how the basic pet trust works . . .

First, decide how much money you want or need to set aside for your pet’s future care. You fund your pet’s care through your will, living trust, life insurance, retirement account or cash. If you have sufficient funds now, you can fund it while you are alive.

Second, choose two people: one is the person who will be your pet’s caretaker; the other is the person (i.e. Trustee) who will manage the money you set aside for your pet’s care. The Trustee distributes money as needed or planned.

You could choose one person to do both jobs but it can get messy if that person becomes ill, dies or isn’t good with money.

If you want to set up a trust for your pet, or simply want more information, email me at george.warshaw@warshawlaw.com. © 2011 George Warshaw.

The foregoing is not intended as legal advice. Consult an attorney to see how or if the foregoing applies to you.

Attorney George Warshaw represents buyers and sellers of homes, condos and investment properties, prepares wills and trusts for inheriting real estate, and trusts that protect your children and pets. George welcomes new clients and questions at  george.warshaw@warshawlaw.com.

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