If you have a beloved pet, then you probably realize that your pet-dog, cat, horse, bird, or another animal-is much more than just an animal or companion. It's a valued member of your family. You are taking good care of your pet now. Who will take care of your pets when you are unable to?
A Pet Trust can ensure that there are people who will care for your pet, resources available for such care, and clear instructions regarding how your pets should be cared for. Planning can lead to peace of mind and reduce the anxiety that many pet owners experience when they envision their beloved pet living without them.
In Maryland, you can set up a standalone Pet Trust or incorporate Pet Trust provisions into your estate planning documents, such as your Last Will and Testament and/or Trust.
In some cases, a Pet Trust can be set up to take effect while the owner is still alive but is unable to take care of the pet for various reasons.
With your Pet Trust you can:
- Appoint a Pet Caregiver and at least one backup Caregiver to provide care for your pet
- Appoint a Trustee to make sure that the Caregiver is doing his/her job
- Protect the money designated for the pet and ensure that it lasts for the duration of the pet's life
- Give directions regarding health care needs, exercise needs, diet needs, preferred veterinarian, and burial/cremation plans for your pet
Also, you can:
- Include instructions to place your pet(s) into a no-kill pet shelter or other institution(s), if the need arises
- Provide that any funds remaining in trust at the death of the pet goes to a charity of your choice or to a family member
- Provide a method for finding a Pet Caregiver in the event that the Pet Caregiver or the back-up Pet Caregiver you have selected is unavailable
- And many more components
If you'd like to learn more about providing for your beloved pet if you are no longer able to care for them or are gone, please contact the Avrine Law Firm at 240.395.1366. We'll be glad to help you make sure your pet is protected and well cared for as needed.
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