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Pet Trusts: Providing for Your Furry Friends After You’re Gone

Many people love their pets more than most people they know, and they worry about what will happen to their pets after the pet owner dies. Texas has a solution for you. Pets Trusts provide for your furry friends after you’re gone. A Texas estate planning attorney can craft a pet trust beautifully tailored to your wishes. 

You could include your pet planning arrangements in your will or living trust, but if you did not, your lawyer could create a separate document that takes care of this important issue.

What Can Happen if You Do Not Make Formal Arrangements for Your Pet in Your Legal Papers

Texas law considers pets as property. As such, they will pass to your residuary beneficiary if not dealt with specifically in your estate planning documents. You might not want your residuary beneficiary to have the responsibility of your pets when you are gone. For all you know, this person might drop them off at a shelter.

Asking a friend to take care of your pet is not sufficient unless formalized in writing and incorporated in your legal documents. Otherwise, your residuary beneficiary could accuse your friend of theft of property, particularly if your pets have a significant financial value.

Things to Think About When Making Pet Arrangements 

You will want to fund your pet arrangements to increase the likelihood that the person you nominate will actually take care of your fur baby. Pets are expensive to take care of properly, and you do not want your pet to be a financial burden that your friend will grow to resent. People often agree to take care of a friend’s pet after the friend dies because they feel put on the spot when asked.

You will want to talk with your lawyer about specific terms you might want to be included in your pet trust about your pet’s care after you are gone. Also, you will want to limit the use of the money you set aside so that the funds can only get used for the care of your pet. You will also want to think about what will happen to any remaining funds after your pet dies.

Pet Trusts: They’re More Common Than You Might Think

Many people do not make arrangements for their pets in their will or living trust or create a pet trust because they are embarrassed at the thought of getting laughed at by others. Granted, we have all heard stories on the news about an eccentric wealthy person who left millions of dollars in trust for the care of their pet, but an appropriate arrangement for the average person owner’s cat or dog can be much more modest.

Far from being silly, a pet trust or a provision in your will shows that you are compassionate and thoughtful, and you do not want your pet to end up in a shelter like the hundreds of thousands of pets who get taken to shelters after their owner passes on. Arranging for a loving home instead of your pet dealing with the grief of your passing and getting abandoned is the most loving thing you can do for your pet. A Texas estate planning attorney can answer your questions about pet trusts and other legal arrangements for your furry friends. Get in touch with our office today for help with your case.