Trusts are often created in order to provide protection for loved ones, such as a spendthrift trust which ensures that heirs do not squander their inheritance. When you are creating a trust to protect those who matter in your life, don’t forget your pets. A pet trust can help you to ensure that there is money available to provide for the care of your animals after you are gone. Pets can be very expensive and you do not want your animals to be deprived of the care that they may need simply because there is not enough money.
While you could simply leave money in your will for the care of pets, this would not necessarily ensure that the money was used for its intended purpose. Animals, of course, cannot directly inherit or manage money, so leaving money in a will is not the best way to ensure that these animals are cared for.
A better option is to create a trust, name a trustee who will have a fiduciary duty to use the money to provide care for a pet, and name the pet as the beneficiary. You can provide specific instructions for the trustee regarding exactly how the trust assets should be used to care for the pet and regarding what should be done with any money that is left over at the end of the pet’s life. It is common, for example, for remaining funds in the trust to be donated to some type of animal rescue group or animal welfare group.