This is an article from the Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC (http://www.rbsllc.com/) in Portland, Oregon, that we thought others may find helpful.
Americans love their pets. In fact, according to the American Humane Society, Americans own 78 million dogs and 86 million cats. If you have a pet that you consider to be a part of the family, then chances are you want to ensure that he or she is well cared for in the event you become incapacitated or die. One way to accomplish that goal is to create a pet trust.
When most people think of a trust, particularly the concept of a pet trust, they envision a wealthy individual who has millions of dollars to manage. The reality is that trusts can be as simple or as complex as the person creating them wishes. A pet trust is a type of specialized trust that is intended to accomplish a single goal – providing for your pet if you are unable to do so at some point in the future.
A pet trust allows you to appoint a trustee who will oversee the trust funds. Your trustee can be the same person who will take care of your pet. The real benefit to creating a pet trust is the ability to create trust terms. In those terms you can be very specific about the care of your pet or you can leave a significant amount of discretion to your pet’s guardian. For example, you could name the veterinarian your pet is to see, as well as the brand of food he or she is to be fed. Or you can leave those decisions up to the guardian. Your pet trust allows you to transfer the necessary funds into the trust to ensure that your pet will be well cared for even if you cannot provide the care yourself.