Atlanta Estate Planning, Wills & Probate | Siedentopf Law

What is a Pet Trust?

What is a pet trust? This is the question that we’re going to address.

I’m Sarah Siedentopf, I’m an estate planning attorney, and a dog owner, and an all fluffy animal lover. The first thing to think about is, it’s just like a people trust, except that the beneficiary of the trust, AKA, the individual that gets to use the stuff in the trust is a pet. So we are going to have a trustee, that is the person who is in charge of the money, who will be, you know, writing those checks, nobody writes checks, but making those payments to the vet, buying the dog food, doing all of the things to take care of the pet. And then the beneficiary is the pet.

So this is super similar to a people trust. You can set it up as part of a larger trust, you can set it up as its own particular trust, and you can also set it up as a little sub-trust in your will, so as a clause that some amount of money will be set aside, and some person will be the trustee managing it for the benefit of your pets. Then at the end of your trust, there’s likely to be some money left over because let’s face it, we all love our pets. And if you’re setting aside money, you want to set aside enough, and so we tend to overestimate because we don’t want to run out. And so there’s likely to be some money left over.

This is where you choose a beneficiary after your pet, and that could be, you know, the humane society, it could be one of your children, it could be really anyone you want it to be, it could be a split between a hundred different people if you would like to do that much typing. But basically, we set aside some money, set up a trustee who takes care of the pet and then if anything is left over, it’s given to whatever person or entity you want it to go to. So very much like a people trust. I love to work on these, so if you’ve got questions about this, please give me a call, and also, please feel free to comment. Thank you.

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