Using a trust to care for pets

California residents may wonder what would happen to a pet if the animal's owner should pass away. Much like children, pets can be included in an estate plan. This is important to remember if you have a pet that is very special to you.

Making sure that there is someone who can take care of your pets if you should become seriously ill may be a good idea. Whoever is designated could check on your health and take over care of your pets as needed.

It is important to make a note of any important information about the pets including special medications, habits and more. Pertinent information such as who their veterinarian is should also be included. A power of attorney can include authorization to care for pets and to access money to pay for that care. A further step may be including the pet in a trust or will. A pet trust can pay for the care of the animal for the duration of the pet's life. It ends on the death of the pet, and usually a beneficiary is named to inherit the remainder of the trust on the pet's death.

Trusts can have many other purposes beyond looking after pets. A trust can be created that takes care of family members with special needs or minor children. They can also distribute money to beneficiaries based on certain conditions or at certain times. In other cases, a person may prefer creating a will. An attorney may be able to assist with this and other documents used in estate planning. With careful planning, a person can ensure that their financial affairs, pets and family will all be taken care of.

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