PET TRUSTS IN MARYLAND

If you have a pet at home, then you probably already know that your household pet, whether it is a dog, cat, horse, bird or something else, is more than just an animal or companion. It is a member of the family. You are taking good care of your pet while you can.

However, 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, reducing 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.

What is a Pet Trust?

A PET TRUST is a legal document you can create to ensure that your pets will be cared for as you yourself have cared for them.

With the 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 or 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.
The pet owner can be as general or as specific with the instructions as he or she wishes. Thus, a pet owner may provide instructions on how many times to feed or walk the pet, preferred brands of food or toys, and other requirements to help the pet maintain the same lifestyle it had when the owner was able to care for it.
  • Instruct to place a pet(s) into a no-kill pet shelter or other institution(s), if a need arises.
  • Provide that any funds remaining in trust at the death of the pet goes to charity or 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 more.
You love your pet dearly, so it is important to take care of your pet in the event it outlives you. You can do so by setting up a PET TRUST with instructions so that your pet is given attention, love, and devotion it deserves. It is truly the best way you can ensure your pet will be well taken care of the rest of its life.

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