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Is It Possible to Arrange for Pet Care in Your Estate Plan?

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

Comal County estate planning lawyerIt is not uncommon for people to treat their pets as if they were a member of their own families. Animals often serve as close companions to their human counterparts. But what happens if someone has a pet that has the chance to outlive them? Well, if you are the loving owner of a pet, you will be happy to learn there is indeed a way to include your pet as a part of your estate plan to ensure they will be cared for in the event of your death. Trusts involving animal care are authorized in the Texas trust code. 

If you are interested in including your pet in a trust, understand that various requirements govern the use of pet trusts. For example, the animal in question must have been alive during the grantor's lifetime. If you are interested in utilizing a trust to care for your pet in the event they outlive you, consider contacting a skilled attorney, as pet trusts can be just as complex as any other form of trust. 

What You Should Know About Trusts for Animals 

Contrary to trusts involving humans, which can be administered decades after the trust's creator has passed away, pet trusts are generally more temporary. Typically, pets will not live past 20 years old. However, there are exceptions, like species of birds that can live close to the length of a human life or even tortoises that may live for 100+ years. But for most animals, the trust will not need to be long-lasting. A pet trust will automatically terminate once the animal being cared for has passed away. As a result, it may be wise to include a clause governing what should be done with the remaining funds in the trust. In cases where the assets within a pet trust surpass the amount needed to care for the animal, the assets may be allocated to beneficiaries named in your will. In the event you do not have a will, the assets may be given to intestate heirs. 

Like with other trusts, the grantor will have a significant say in setting the terms of the trust. Generally, the trustee must follow the terms specified in the trust instrument and only use funds within the trust to care for the animal. 

Contact a Texas Trust Attorney

The highly experienced Comal County estate planning lawyers at Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law are proficient in the creation of all types of trusts. Call 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 


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