Walter D. White, A Professional Law Corporation
Estate Planning & Elder Law
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When people in Louisiana work on their estate plans, they make sure that they’ve covered everything and everyone that they want to be included. They name the heirs who will be inheriting their assets, and they’re very specific about things like who will take care of their children if they’re still minors or what’s to be done with certain property. What many people forget about is making sure that their pets are taken care of if they were to pass away suddenly.

Many people assume that promises made by friends and family members to take care of their pet if they passed away are legally binding, but they’re not. The best way they can protect their pets is to create pet trusts.

Why do pets need to be protected by trusts?

If someone dies suddenly, there is usually quite a bit of time between their death and when probate is complete. In the meantime, someone will need to take care of their pets. If no one has been legally assigned to do so, those pets could end up being taken to a shelter to be adopted or euthanized.

One way to protect your pet in the event that you passed away suddenly is to have a pet trust as part of your estate planning arsenal. Set up as part of an existing trust or as its own trust, a pet trust provides an opportunity for you to name the person who will take care of your pets if you die. This person will have a fiduciary responsibility to take care of your pet in the manner that you have requested. The trustee will then disburse funds to that caretaker to help ensure that your requests are met.

How can someone go about getting a pet trust?

People who are interested in pet trusts may benefit by working with attorneys who have experience putting together all types of complex trusts and estate plans. They may be able to help ensure that your beloved pet lives the good life long after you’re gone.