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

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Ronald W.

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Sharon A.

We recently used Peter's firm to update our wills and trusts. We found he and his staff to be well-informed, professional and highly efficient. And equally valuable, Peter explains the law in terms that a layperson can readily understand.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Darryl J.

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

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Glenn P.

Peter Klenk ESQ is a thoughtful and capable attorney who we work with on estate planning issues. His firm recently provided us with new Wills, Power of Attorneys and our instructions regarding major health issues. These documents are important for estate and life planning. Peter and his team are masters in the complexities of Estate Law. We highly recommend Peter and his Associates to provide thoughtful advice and outstanding work on these complex issues of the law. Make sure your estate planning documents are up to date, and Peter can be relied on to do an excellent job. Well done Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Bill

I met Peter soon after he started his practice in Philadelphia, PA. He and his team have always been there for me and my various inquiries throughout my life-changing events, corporate relocations. I have lived in various cities throughout the nation, I have never had a problem in contacting Peter or a member of his team. He and his office responds quickly and returns calls to me to fulfill my requests for information or to revise my estate needs while posing relevant thought-provoking questions that I need to consider to secure my future. One of Peter's best qualities is his ability to answer clients complicated questions in a simple way to ensure comprehension.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.