Understandably so, you may consider your pet as one of your family members. This is why you may want to ensure that they are taken care of in the unfortunate event that you pass on. This is where a pet trust comes into play. Continue reading to learn how to create a pet trust and how an experienced Putnam County trusts attorney at the Law Offices of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can help you incorporate it into your estate plan.
What is a pet trust?
In general, a trust is an agreement in which you (a trustor) appoint a third party (a trustee) to manage your assets until your designated loved one (a beneficiary) inherits them. With that being said, a pet trust is an agreement in which you give a trustee the responsibility of handling the funds and requests you set forth for your pet. Luckily, New York State views your pet as a dependant you have custody over instead of as a piece of property. This is why pet trusts are legal in this state.
Your pet trust may be established through your Last Will, as a part of your revocable living trust, or as a stand-alone trust. And the clauses included in this agreement may include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Your wishes for your pet’s funds.
- Your wishes for your pet’s guardian.
- Your wishes for your pet’s healthcare plans.
- Your wishes for your pet’s designated veterinarian.
- Your wishes for your pet’s burial proceedings.
- Your wishes for your pet’s funds once they have passed on.
How can I create a pet trust in New York State?
There are specific steps that you must undergo to legally create a pet trust in New York State. They read as follows:
- Select a trustee for your pet trust, specifically an individual that will work in the best interest of your pet.
- Select a guardian for your pet, specifically an individual that is separate from your trustee and that will provide care that is in the best interest of your pet.
- Appoint backup trustees and guardians, specifically as a precautionary measure.
- Once a trustee and guardian accept their duties, begin drafting an inter vivos trust or testamentary trust.
- In the inter vivos trust or testamentary trust, disclose the healthcare plan you wish for your pet.
- In the inter vivos trust or testamentary trust, provide a sufficient amount of funds that you expect to last the rest of your pet’s life.
Of note, the language you use for your pet trust must be as clear as possible. Rest assured, an attorney can help you in accomplishing this. So, before it is too late, you must retain the services of a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney. We are ready and willing to take on your estate plan.