More than 600,000 pets are euthanized each year because their owners have not made provisions for their care upon the owners' death.

Pet Trust - What You Will Need

Some things you should be aware of, or that you will be asked to consider, when creating a living pet trust include the following:

  1. You will initially name yourself as trustee and beneficiary (a/k/a caretaker) of the trust
  2. As beneficiary, you have the legal standing to enforce the terms of the trust if the trustee fails to carry out the terms of the trust agreement. You may ask yourself..."If I am the trustee and the beneficiary why will I have to have the legal standing to enforce the terms of trust?" You obviously will not have to instruct yourself to enforce the terms of the trust, however, in the event of your incapacity or death you will select different individuals to act as alternate trustee and alternate beneficiary/caretaker. The caretaker must have the legal standing to enforce the terms of the trust
  3. That being said, you will select an alternate caretaker in the event you are unable to act due to incapacity resulting from accident or illness or your demise
  4. You will also select a different person as alternate trustee who is willing to administer the trust assets for the benefit of the pet(s) and expend the time and effort necessary to administer the terms of the trust
  5. You will identify the pet(s) that are the subject of the trust
  6. The language in the trust will give (bequeath) the pet(s) to the trustee, in trust by identifying the pet(s) as an asset of the trust
  7. You have the opportunity to specify the standard of care the caretaker is to give the pet(s)
  8. You will identify the distribution method (how often the trustee should give money to the caretaker for the care of the pets)
  9. You will name a remainder beneficiary in the event there are still funds in the trust after the demise of the last of the pet(s) identified in the trust

NOTE: If your pet has an identifying microchip beneath its skin, the Humane Society of the United States, your veterinarian and we strongly recommend that it be the primary means of identifying your pet. No matter how you physically describe your pet there is always a possibility that someone unfamiliar with your pet could confuse it with another animal. Use the microchip ID number in any of the documents to identify your pet precisely.