Many pet owners think of their pets as part of their family. Legally pets are considered personal property like a car or jewelry.
If you are sick, injured, or unable to care for your pet and have not planned ahead, your pets may not be taken care of by the person you want. They may be managed like your other personal property.
Upon your death, your pets will pass as residual property under your will or your states intestate laws.
It is important to make specific provisions in your will, trust, and other estate planning documents to provide for your pet. If not, you pet could end up like many, in a shelter or on the street.
A Pet trust give you the ability to control your pets care if you are unable to. You can also add additional pets to the trust during your life. The trust can go into effect as soon as you create it.
Other less expensive methods of taking care of your pets include provisions in a will to create a pet trust if a pet survives you and conditional gifts in the will. Although a gift in the will does not require that the funds be used for the benefit of the pet the funds are given with the instructions to be used for the purpose you request.