An estate plan should be well-thought out and comprehensive. If you live in Fort Worth or anywhere throughout greater Tarrant County, The Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC is well-prepared to provide you with the excellent legal counsel and the personalized service you deserve. Our attorneys, fully committed to meeting your needs, pay careful attention to the specific details that apply to your individual situation. In many cases, included in the category of special circumstances is the need to protect a well-loved pet. Realizing that there is always the possibility that you will become incapacitated or that you will predecease your loyal companion, you will want to ensure that your pet is tended to properly if you’re not around. At Carey Thompson we consider the best way to ensure your beloved animal’s well-being is by creating a pet trust for which you will designate both a trustee to manage the funds you leave and a caretaker (beneficiary) who will tend your beloved animal. Naming these two people has the advantage that the well-being of your pet will be overseen by both your hands-on helper and the person holding the purse strings.
Pet Needs That Must Be Met
Obviously, depending on the type of pet you have, the particular types of care will differ. Nonetheless, all of these categories must be addressed:
- Nutritional and hydration needs
- Sanitation and grooming
- Veterinary care
- Boarding instructions
- Needs for attention/affection
Whether your beloved animal requires having fur brushed or hooves cleaned, whether it needs its droppings picked up, its litter box changed, or its cage cleaned, these issues are of vital importance to keeping your pet healthy and contented.
Why a Pet Trust Is a Good Solution
Because you cannot legally make your pet a beneficiary of your estate, a pet trust is the best alternative. A pet trust is designed to keep your pet well-tended in your absence. One of our experienced attorneys will assist you in deciding how to fund the trust. This can be done by transferring a specified amount of money into the trust or purchasing a life insurance policy that names the trust as beneficiary. We will also help you to set up a method for the trustee to pay the caregiver at regular intervals. Obviously, you will choose people you trust for both roles.
We will also assist you in approximating costs the pet trust will have to cover by considering the type of animal, the typical price of annual care, the pet’s age and life expectancy, and the possibility of emergency surgery or prolonged veterinary care. In addition, plans must be made for alternative care if the chosen caretaker (or trustee) is unavailable for some period of time, or permanently.
Why A Pet Trust Is the Safest Method of Planning for Secure Care
Because a traditional pet trust is a legal document, its particular directions, which reflect your wishes, must be followed. In the trust you can describe precisely what types of physical control must be utilized, which kinds of daily care are non-negotiable, and even whether you want your pet buried or cremated when it dies. What makes a pet trust secure is that it is legally binding. The trustee has not only a responsibility, but a legal duty, to manage the trust as instructed. In addition, because the pet trust is a legal document, family members or others who might want to make other arrangements for your pet’s care will be unable to do so. You will have the last word.
There is another type of pet trust, known as a statutory pet trust, but it is not often used because the ability of the settlor (trustor) to give instructions is extremely restricted. In a statutory pet trust, you simply leave an appropriate amount of money in trust for your pet and state law will determine how the trust will operate. This very limited control makes most pet owners anxious.
What happens when your pet dies?
According to Texas law, a pet trust terminates when there is no longer a live animal covered by the trust. If there are any remaining assets in the trust when the animal dies, those assets will be distributed to the settlor (if he or she is still living) or will be distributed to the other beneficiaries under the settlor’s will.
Contact our Fort Worth Pet Trust Attorney
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson we are dedicated to ensuring that you feel comfortable confronting the future, uncertain though it may be. By letting us guide you through the necessary steps of estate planning you give us the opportunity to cover all the bases. Don’t worry about the pet you love. We will make sure your dog or cat, horse or rabbit, turtle, parrot or lizard will be in safe hands. Call us or fill out a contact form on our website so you can experience the relief of having a workable plan to keep you pet safe and well cared for.