Leona Helmsley left a $12 million dollar trust for her Maltese! Do the rest of us really need to worry about setting up a Pet Trust?

For many of us, our pets are a member of the family. Did you even know that you can set up a Pet Trust for the care of your lovable furry child? Many families overlook this. This is easy and quick to do as part of your overall estate plan, and ordinarily should not cost anything extra. (unless you are like Leona Helmsley).


Be hesitant about relying upon provisions for your pet in a Will. Wills have to go through probate, and that can be slow and expensive, which can lead to a gap in care for your pet. Among the many advantages of a Revocable Living Trust is the fact that your Trustee can comply with your care directions right away, including providing necessary funds for the care of your Fur Baby. 


When setting up your Pet Trust, you already know you need to pay for basic care items, like food and vet bills, but consider also the role of the caregiver. This is an act of service to a living creature, and that time, care and energy should be rewarded with some kind of personal compensation. Also consider picking a backup caregiver, just in case things don’t work out with the first one. Outline any specific care instructions or medical issues your caregiver should be aware of, even the kind of food you know your pet responds well to. The few moments of time you take in properly setting up your Pet Trust will pay off in a more pleasant existence for your fur baby if you happen to cross the Rainbow Bridge first. Call us. Our estate planning attorney, Edmund Gegan, is a dog lover/owner himself.