If you are working on estate planning in California, you have probably considered the fate of any of your pets, should you pass before them. One way that people can ensure that their animals continue to have good lives is through drafting what is known as a pet trust. While some states have a limit of 21 years after the passing of the grantor, California allows a pet trust to remain in effect for the duration of a pet or companion animal’s lifetime.
What should be included?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a pet trust allows you to guarantee the continued care of your pet even long after you pass. You can even provide instructions for what will be done with your pet’s body after it reaches the end of its life.
Another good feature of pet trusts is their flexibility. You can designate a set amount of funds in the trust to be used only for the pet while also designating a remainder beneficiary who will receive any funds that are leftover if the funds set aside do not all get used during your pet’s lifetime. When you put aside the funds for the trust, you should anticipate any expenses involved in administering the trust in addition to the costs of your pet’s care.
You can even specify how often the trustee must examine your pet to make sure it stays in good health. You can state the standard of care that you wish your pet to have, and the trustee will be obligated to maintain that standard.
This is not a legal advice article but is simply intended to inform you about pet trusts.