Pet Trust

Pet Protection Planning - How To Care For Your Animals After You've Passed

Lets’ face it, our pets are more than just a dog or a cat, they’re beloved members of our family. When most people are planning their estate, they’re doing their best to make sure their loved ones are provided for and cared for after they pass away. But, often times our animals get forgotten about…

Unfortunately, in the event of death or incapacitation, without a Pet Trust your pet could be at serious risk. Without proper measures in place, they could end up being sold or placed an animal shelter with an uncertain future. This can lead to undue suffering for your family pet.

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What Happens To Your Pet If You Die?

Under Michigan law, animals are considered personal property. When you die they will be liquidated with your other assets and sold. Where your pet ends up is decided entirely by the court. Leaving money for the care of a pet in a Living Trust is not legally enforceable since the money is being left to personal property and pets cannot be considered a beneficiary. Creating a provision for the care of a pet in a Last Will and Testament is also ineffective. Whether or not your pet will be cared for is dependent on the good faith of the people who agreed to care for your pet, but this is not legally binding. 

What Is A Pet Trust?

In order to fully protect your pets after you pass, you should establish a Pet Trust. A Pet Trust is a legal device that provides funds and care services for the benefit of your animals if you become incapacitated or pass away.

What Animals Can Be Covered By A Pet Trust?

Your Pet Trust can cover one or more animals that are alive during your lifetime. In Michigan, A Pet Trust may exist until your pet passes away, or for a maximum of 21 years, ending with the occurrence of either event.

Can I Choose Who Takes Care Of My Pet After I Pass?

Yes. As the creator of the Pet Trust, you can designate a caregiver. This is probably the most important decision you will make. Naturally, you want to make sure that you are entrusting your pet’s care to someone who will love and take care of them just like you would.

Can I Provide Caretaking Instructions?

Absolutely. In a Pet Trust, you can specify care instructions, like how often your pet should see a veterinarian, the frequency of walks or other activities, what kind of food it should eat, and any special living arrangements you would like for your pet. Your Pet Trust can also give instructions on what should be done if your pet comes down with a serious health condition that requires expensive medical care, if the pet’s life should be extended in painful circumstances, and final disposition wishes.

Can I Set Aside Money To Make Sure My Pet Is Cared For?

With regards to financing your pet’s care, your Pet Trust determines how and when the funds should be given to the person you selected as the caretaker, what to do with any remaining money, or if a third party should regularly check on the condition of the pet.

What Happens To My Pet If I Get Sick And Can’t Take Care Of It Before I Pass Away?

This is a big concern for many because it’s very common to become sick or incapacitated before the end of life. One of the major benefits of a Pet Trust is that is able to take effect before you pass away; for example, if you become incapacitated and unable to care for your animal. The caretaker you assigned in the Trust would be able to step in and immediately begin caring for your pet.

Protect Your Pet With The Help Of A Pet Trust Lawyer Today!

If you’d like to make a Pet Trust to plan for a happy and safe future for your pet, set up a free initial consultation with and experienced Pet Trust Lawyer, today!

Over the past decade at Rochester Law Center, we’ve helped 1,000s of clients in all matters of Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Estate Planning, and Probate. 

Just give us a call today at (248) 613-0007. 

We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about setting up a Pet Trust. To schedule your complimentary initial consultation with an experienced Trust Attorney, just give us a call at (248) 613-0007 today!

Our 4 Step Process Makes Creating A Pet Trust Simple

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Written By Chris Atallah - Founder, Rochester Law Center, PLLC

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Written By Chris Atallah - Founder, Rochester Law Center, PLLC

Chris Atallah is a licensed Michigan Attorney and the author of “The Ultimate Guide to Wills & Trusts – Estate Planning for Michigan Families”. Over that past decade, Chris has helped 1,000s of Michigan families and businesses secure their futures in all matters of Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning. He has taught dozens of seminars across the State of Michigan on such topics as avoiding the death tax, protecting minor children after the parents’ death, and preserving family wealth from the courts and accidental disinheritance. If you have any questions, Chris would be happy to answer them for you – just call at 248-613-0007.

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