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Pet Trusts

If you are getting older, you may worry about what will happen to your pets after you pass away. How will you ensure that they are cared for with the same commitment you give them every day?

Creating a pet trust is one way to protect your pets and ensure their proper care after your death. Contact our legal team at Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel today at 434-589-2958, or in and near Powhatan at (804) 598-1348, to learn more about setting up a pet trust in Central Virginia.

What Is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to designate assets for your pet’s care after you pass away. You can also specify who your pets will live with once you can no longer care for them.

Pet trusts can allow you to put in writing any instructions you have for your pet, ensuring that their new caregiver knows the best ways to care for them. For example, if you give your pet preventative medicine monthly or only feed them a specific type of food, you can indicate this in the trust or in a letter of instruction to your trustee for your pet trust.

If you do not have a family member or friend in mind to care for your pet, you can indicate that you would like your pet to go to a specific organization after your death or designate a trusted person to find a suitable home for your furry friend. For example, private rescue organizations often offer to take in pets after their owners pass away.

Altogether, creating a pet trust is an effective way to ensure that your wishes for your pet come to are legally enforceableafter you can no longer care for them.

Benefits of a Pet Trust

Pet trusts offer many benefits to pets and their owners, such as the following:

  • Ensure financial resources for your pets: Designating assets to your pet trust can ensure that your pet’s new owner can financially care for them in the same or similar way that you did.
  • Create smoother transitions after your death: Having a pet trust in place can ensure a smooth transition for your pet to its new owner, preventing gaps in care.
  • Provides legally binding assurance: Pet trusts are legally binding documents, and the trustees must follow the requirements you indicate in the trust. As a result, a trust can give you peace of mind that the trustee will follow your wishes for your pet and that the assets you have set aside for their care will actually be used for your pet and not for purposes that you did not agree to.

How to Create a Pet Trust

The most reliable way to set up a pet trust is to work with a qualified estate planning attorney. Your attorney can walk you through the steps to create the trust and ensure that it is legally binding. They also will ensure that your trust contains all of the following components:

  • The amount of money to fund the trust
  • Which of your pets will be covered by the trust
  • Who the pet’s new caregiver will be and who will be the trustee of the trust
  • How you would like the caregiver to use the money in the trust

Contact An Experienced Estate Attorney in Central Virginia

If you would like to set up a legally binding pet trust, we can help. Contact our Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel team today at 434-589-2958, or in and near Powhatan at 804-598-1348, today to schedule your consultation in Central Virginia or visit us online at www.winget-hernandez.com.

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