It’s common for Titusville residents who love animals to own pets their entire lives. From childhood to your golden years, a dog, cat or other animal companion can fill your life with purpose, companionship and love. And many types of pets are small and trainable enough for a senior citizen to handle.
This raises an uncomfortable question: if you are of a certain age and have a young pet, what will happen if you predecease them? Can you plan ahead to ensure that Fido will continue having a happy life after you are gone?
Fortunately, you can make planning for your pets’ care a part of your estate plan. One common tactic for Florida pet owners is to set up a pet trust.
How a pet trust works
Like most states, Florida has a statute explicitly permitting pet trusts with one or more animal companions as the beneficiaries. The trust will be in place for your pet’s lifetime or the lifetime of the last surviving animal if you include multiple beneficiaries. Just as with any other trust, you appoint a trustee with the duty to maintain the assets contained in the trust and distribute them in the pets’ best interests. In this case, this would involve placing your pets in an appropriate home and paying expenses such as food, grooming and veterinarian care.
Is a pet trust right for you?
Whether a pet trust is the best way to ensure your beloved companion’s care will continue or another option makes more sense depends on your individual circumstances. Your estate plan works best when it is customized to your specific needs and goals.