In the U.S., the National Law Review claims that over half of American households have a pet. Despite pets being a huge part of people’s lives, they still forget to include them in the estate plan.

If you have a beloved pet, there are pet trusts.

What is a pet trust?

As with any trust, the pet trust provides funds and names a caretaker for your animal if something were to happen to you. A pet trust includes instructions on how to care for your pet. You can include the following:

  • Your pet’s interests and likes
  • Your pet’s medical information
  • Your pet’s nutritional requirements
  • Your pet’s behavior patterns

Any information that will help your pet’s caretaker provide the proper care is good to include. Also, include successive caretakers in case anything happens to your top choice. A trustee ensures that all funds go towards the health and benefit of your pet, as you describe in the trust.

Do you need a pet trust?

If you do not include your pet in your estate plan, then you will have no control over what happens to it if you die first. Animals require care right away. Someone must have access to your home to care for your pets. Without a trust, you may not have any control over what happens next. Your pet could end up in a shelter or with a person that you did not trust with its care. If you die away from home, a living trust will also ensure that no one forgets about your pets or leaves them alone in your home for days.