CNN reports that Lulu the border collie inherited a $5,000,000 fortune from her owner who passed away in Nashville, TN last year. At just 8 years old, this dog is set for life. This may seem like a head scratcher; how can a dog own property? The answer is a pet trust.
It is likely that you never considered covering the cost of care of your pets after you pass away; the usual estate plan provides for loved ones and charities, but pets are rarely included. However, there is a growing number of people starting to consider their pets in their estate plans. For those fur parents, a pet trust is recommended. While pets cannot own property, trusts for their benefit can.
A pet trust appoints a caretaker for the decedent’s pet(s) and a trustee to manage the trust assets. The trust assets are used to take care of the pet(s) pursuant to the terms of the trust. Food, veterinary care, pet health insurance, toys, treats, accessories, pet sitters, day care, etc. can all be paid for by the trust.
A pet trust may be unconventional, but it is an excellent way to ensure that your furry family members are taken care of after you die. For some, myself included, this is a crucial addition to an estate plan. A pet trust can stand alone or it can be integrated into your will.
For Lulu the border collie, her pet trust may just be the difference between regular (peasant) food and gourmet meals. Lulu is a “good girl” according to her caretaker and trustee; we wish her all the milkbones in the world.
Call us to discuss a pet trust for your pets today: (716) 262-9694