Pet Trusts Are an Important Part of Estate Planning

Berks County Pet Trust Lawyer Larry Miller, Jr.You, like so many other people, feel your pet is a vital part of the family. You love your pet. Obviously you want to provide benefits for your pet(s) just as you do for your children and other loved ones. You want to ensure that, if anything happens to you,  your pet(s) is well taken care of and receives the benefits it needs to lead a full and happy life. This is best accomplished by setting up a Pet Trust. Pet Trusts are therefore an important part of your Estate Planning.

Pennsylvania has recognized trusts designed to benefit animals since 2006. However, there are different types of Pet Trusts. Choosing the right type is very important in your Estate Planning. Our Pet Trust Lawyer will help you select the right type of Pet Trust.

Understanding Pet Trusts in Pennsylvania

You need a Pet Trust because pets cannot inherit from you directly under Pennsylvania law. A Pet Trust assigns a trustee who…

  • gets custody of your pet;
  • adequate money and assets to pay for your pet’s care; and
  • lastly, duty-bound to offer adequate care for your pet following guidelines you set up.

The Trustee in a Pet Trust can be a…

  • bank;
  • legal professional;
  • trusted friend;
  • advisor; or
  • capable third party.

Pet Trusts can set up a pet trust as…

  • part of your will; or
  • as an “inter vivos” trust, which will go into effect as soon as you are unable to care for your pet.

Pet Trusts contain detailed information about the care your pet will receive. Examples include…

  • visits to a specific veterinarian;
  • specific types of pet food;
  • certain routines; or
  • favorite treats.

The trust gives you total peace of mind because it will remain in place until the end of your pet’s life.

Types of Pet Trusts in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recognizes three types of structures for Pet Trusts:

  1. Statutory Pet Trust – This type of trust allows you to designate a third party to ensure the assets in your trust are used by the trustee correctly in taking care of your pet.
  2. Honorary Pet Trust – This type of trust doesn’t designate a beneficiary specifically, which may make it harder to enforce.
  3. Traditional Legal Trust – This type of trust places the pet and the assets to care for the pet nto the trust. The trustee is the beneficiary of the trust. Your attorney can craft the language so the trustee is duty-bound to take care of the pet according to your wishes using the money in the trust to do so. Some attorneys consider this type of Pet Trust to be among the strongest type of protection for your pet, provided the trust is set up correctly, and the trustee is chosen carefully.

A pet trust attorney near Reading, PA can help you determine which pet trust is most appropriate for your situation and can help you set up the right estate plan. An attorney can also help you determine how much you need to leave to care for your pet and can help you choose a trustee if you don’t have anyone in mind.

Why You Need Our Proven, Experienced Pet Trust Lawyers

Our Pet Trusts Lawyers have over 40 Years’ Experience helping Berks County residents around Reading, PA protect their pets. Making sure your Pet Trust is done correctly is the only way  to gain total peace of mind regarding your pet’s future well being. Our Pet Trust Lawyer will…

  • take as much time as necessary to gain a full understanding of your unique situation and wishes regarding your pet(s);
  • help you to…
    • consider things you might have overlooked;
    • determine how much the benefits should be;
    • decide to include the Pet Trust as part or your will or “inter vivos”; and
    • lastly, determine the best structure for you Pet Trust.

Contact Us Online or by phone at 610-670-9000. We’d be happy to help you with Estate Planning for all your family members… including your pets.