Skip to Content

We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. Please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

To My Dog, Lucky, I leave $10,000

Posted on Fri Dec 20, 2019, on Estate Planning

Your Pet is Your Friend, What Happens to Your Pet When You Die?

How Does a Pet Trust Work?

How Does a Pet Trust Work?

How Does a Pet Trust Work?

Since the dawn of time, pets have held an essential place in our hearts and our homes. Ancient Egyptians used to mummify faithful pets and have them buried with themselves. This was a dubious honor for the pet. Even in modern America, people have attempted to take their pets with them. For example, Mary Murphy died in 1979, leaving $200,000 to Pets Unlimited, a shelter for pets. However, the more controversial provision in her Will was her command that her pet collie, Sido, be euthanized. The probate court found that Mary did not have the authority to have her pet euthanized. She could have used a Pet Trust to provide care. 

But, the trend has been toward providing for your pets, rather than trying to take them with you. In 1993, Doris Duke, heiress to a tobacco fortune, left $100,000 to her dog, Rodeo. Actress Betty White’s Will reportedly leaves her entire estate to her pets. States are increasingly recognizing the validity of pet trusts.  

How Does a Pet Trust Work?

You name a trustee to hold funds for the benefit of your pet.  For example, in times past and even on occasion today, the funds to care for the pet were left in trust for the pet’s caretaker. Many states now provide for a trust naming the pet as beneficiary. The most common amount left in a pet trust is $25,000. Of course, a pet with a long life expectancy may need more — for example, a parrot or a turtle.  Further, you should carefully plan for a pet requiring expensive medical care, such as an older dog or cat.  Lastly, you may desire your pet to receive extravagant care.

You can specify the caretaker of the pet and backup caretakers. You can set forth your exact wishes for the pet, including diet, daily routine, toys, grooming, socialization, medical care, and disposition of the pet’s remains. The trustee and caretaker may be the same person, or you may choose different people for each role. By selecting different people, it provides a check and balance.  

Pet trusts can be a great way to ensure your pet’s care.  Make sure they receive your love even after you are gone. A qualified estate planning lawyer in Palatine, IL can help you plan for your pets so that they continue to get the love and care they deserve—even when you are not around to provide for them yourself.

Learn More.

We hope you enjoyed this article about How Does a Pet Trust work.  To craft a plan for your pet, talk to your estate planning lawyer.  

Thanks to Bott & Associates, Ltd. for their insight into estate planning and leaving money to a pet.

Tags:

Irrevocable Trust, pet

Klenk LawKlenk Law

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

AJK

Peter has done our family's trust and estate work since our children were born. He is not only extremely knowledgeable and honest but makes sure that our arrangements remain current with the changing legal landscape. I would give him my highest recommendation as a professional in his field.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Anne W.

I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Michael Patete

Surprisingly easy

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Christopher F.

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Darryl J.

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.