When a couple owns a pet, the owners can assume that the survivor will continue caring for their pet (although that’s not necessarily true, at least in my own situation). What happens when a single person owns a pet? In 49 states (Minnesota is the only state that does not permit this) you can now create a pet trust.

A pet trust permits the grantor to set aside a certain amount of money to care for the pet upon the owner’s disability or death. The trustee of the trust will make regular payments to the pet caregiver. The grantor can make specific instructions regarding the care of the pet, including shelter, feeding and veterinary care. The trust will last for as long as the animal lives.  If the amount of money that is placed in the trust is too high, the court may, in its discretion, reduce it.

The alternative to a pet trust is to make a specific provision in the Will. One can name a trusted person to care for the animal and bequeath that person a specific amount of money for this purpose.

Disclaimer: This article only offers general information.  Each situation is unique. It is always helpful to talk to a specialized attorney, to figure out your various options and ramifications of actions.  As every case has subtle differences, please do not use this article for legal advice. Only a signed engagement letter will create an attorney-client relationship.