A pet trust allows you to provide for the care and well being of your pet or domestic animal upon your death or incapacity.
Pets are often part of the family. They provide one with companionship, comfort, and emotional support, among other things. They also have their own unique personalities, likes, dislikes, and needs. A simple way to ensure your pet or domestic animal continues to receive proper care in the event of your death or incapacity is to create a pet trust. Under Utah and Arizona law, a properly created pet trust provides specific direction about how your pet or domestic animal should be cared for (including exercise, food, grooming, veterinary care, and any other care or treatment to which your pet is accustomed) in the event of your death or incapacity.
Funds are set aside for this purpose and a trustee selected by you has the legal obligation to care for your pet according to your instructions upon your death or incapacity. This is preferable to simply getting a “promise” or “assurance” from a trusted friend that they will care for your pet. Such commitments are legally unenforceable. Moreover, without a pet trust, heirs or beneficiaries of your estate may contest to the use of estate funds to care for your pet and your pet’s care giver may tire of providing for such care out of his or her own pocket.
Using a pet trust provides a level of certainty about how your pet or domestic animal will be cared for, who will care for it, and the level of care it will receive. You decide how much money needs to be set aside for your pet based on his or her anticipated wants and needs. Another benefit of a pet trust is your ability to direct how trust funds will be invested during your pet’s lifetime and what will happen to surplus funds upon your pet’s passing. Surplus funds can be given to an individual beneficiary of your choice or used for a charitable purpose designated by you.
Using a pet trust ensures that in the event of your death or incapacity, your pet will continue to be cared for in manner to which he or she is accustomed.