Pet Trusts: Taking Care of Your Pet After You Die
If you have a will, when was the last time you updated it? While your last will may contain provisions about your children, spouse, siblings and other relatives, have you thought about what will happen to your beloved pet if something should happen to you?
Many individuals who enter the estate planning process have thought long and hard about who will inherit their house, business, automobiles — even their jewelry and collectibles. However, if you do not leave instructions regarding the care of your pet after you’re gone, he or she may be euthanized. Fortunately, in Florida, you may set up a trust specifically for the care of your pet. Florida Statute 736.0408 includes the following details:
- You may create a trust for an animal alive during your lifetime. Upon the death of the animal, or if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during your lifetime, the trust is terminated on the death of your last surviving pet.
- A person may be appointed in the trust to enforce its terms. If the trust does not appoint such a person, one is appointed by the court. A person concerned for the animal’s welfare may request that the court appoint someone or remove a person appointed.
- Property and assets in the trust may only be used for the care of the pet, except if the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount necessary for the care of the animal.
When you are ready to begin planning your estate, consult an experienced Tampa, Florida attorney who can help get your affairs in order. With professional guidance, you can create a comprehensive plan that considers the needs and welfare of all your loved ones — even your pets.