Gerry Beyer, author of the Wills, Trusts & Estate Professors Blog has a post on his blog Becoming a “Pet Friendly” Estate Planner which points to an article he wrote in Legal Times. “Your Trust-worthy Pet” discusses the history of providing for pets which began in England in 1889. Now around 40 states have authorized statutory pet statutes.
In the Legal Times article he lists 13 important consideration for traditional pet trusts:
1. Create the trust inter vivos or in the pet owner’s will?
2. Who is the animal’s caregiver (the beneficiary of the trust)?
3. Who is the trustee and will the trustee be paid?
4. When should ownership of the pet be transferred?
5. What and how much property should be transferred to the trust?
6. What is the desired standard of living for the pet?
7. How is the distribution of trust property to the caregiver determined?
8. Should the caregiver be “paid” for services?
9. When should the trust end?
10. Who should be the remainder beneficiary when the trust ends?
11. How should the animal be identified?
12. How should the animal’s welfare be monitored?
13. What happens to the pet when it dies?