Animal Trust: Healthy Pet/Happy Pet 10

Article Series for Dunes Living Magazine

Dr. Amanda Thomas

Do you know what an Animal Trust is? I wasn’t sure about this either, but I looked into it further when a client of mine recently asked me if I would consider taking care of her pets in the event of her death… And this wasn’t the first time someone has asked me this question.

An Animal Trust is a legal document that allows a designated person, or an organization, to care for your pets after you die or when you become unable to care for them yourself, without the need for a court order.

If you want your pets to be well cared for in the event that you are unable to do this yourself, and want to have the peace of mind that comes with this type of family planning, you should think about an Animal Trust, where you can designate a family member or an organization like a pet rescue to take care of your pets for you.

In this type of Trust, you designate any amount of money you want for the care of your pets over any length of time – usually for the lifetime of the animal. One of the worst things that can happen after a person dies, becomes ill or has to move into an assisted living facility that doesn’t allow pets, is that no one in their family wants the pet, and this beloved, precious little soul winds up at an animal shelter where he or she will likely be euthanized.

Most of us have been through some kind of situation like this in our own families. It is a sad outcome for everyone, most of all for the pet who was our loved one’s best friend and companion.

There are many rescue organizations all over the country, for every breed of animal, that would be willing to take in the pet, and the money designated for his or her lifelong care.

They might also be able to find an appropriate new home for the pet.

Ask your estate planner or attorney about this legal trust if you are interested in finding out more about what you can do to plan for your pet’s welfare if you’re concerned that this situation could happen in your family.

“A Faithful Dog”

He is your best friend, your partner, your ultimate defender – your dog.

You are his life, his love, and his only leader.

He will be yours, faithful and true, until the last beat of his heart.

You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.