How to Establish a California Pet Trust

10:18 am Uncategorized

3 dogs e1300295758316 How to Establish a California Pet TrustAccording to the American Humane Society, 90 percent of pet owners in America consider their pets to be members of the family.  In fact, there have been several reports in the news recently about a growing trend of adults choosing to have pets rather than children.   This preference may be contributing to the rising popularity of pet trusts in America, including California.

In 2008, California passed new pet trust legislation that clarified and added enforcement provisions to California pet trust law.   Your first step in establishing a California pet trust should be to consult with a California estate planning attorney so your trust will be executed properly and will be legally enforceable after you are gone.

In establishing a California pet trust, you should:

  • Determine who will act as the trustee and gain their permission to name them in your trust documents.  You will need to provide their name and address.
  • Determine a successor trustee in case your primary trustee is unable to fulfill his or her role according to your pet trust.
  • If different from the trustee, name a primary caregiver and a successor caregiver for your pets.
  • Furnish photos and microchip ID numbers for each pet included in the trust to prevent fraud.
  • Outline the care of each pet in detail, including a requirement for veterinary visits, nutritional needs, healthcare needs, etc.
  • Determine how much cash or assets are needed to properly care for your pet(s).  Be realistic, as an excessive amount left for the care of pets could be challenged by your heirs.  Include the costs of administering the trust as well.
  • Select a beneficiary to receive any funds that are left over after the last pet provided for in the trust has died.
  • Provide instructions for the burial or cremation of your pet(s).

If you have a beloved pet that you want to provide for in a pet trust, contact our California estate planning law firm.

Help is available to you by contacting your Southern California financial planning experts today.



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