The Pet Trust: Putting Your Best Friend In Your Estate Plan

pet trust

When talking with individuals or families to do an estate plan, it’s not unusual to get the question, “Can this plan be used to take care of the family pet?”

Good news: Yes.

Illinois allows you to create what’s commonly known as a pet trust. The pet trust is a legally recognized trust that works in a similar way to a traditional trust that might apply to family members, but with a more narrow purpose.

The pet trust is a useful way within estate planning to make sure that the animal who has been there for you no matter what, day in and day out, is going to be taken care of in the context of your plan. The statute allows pet trusts to provide for a range of different pets or domestic animals.

Upon our first conversation, we’ll take down some key information as well round out the terms of the trust, including a detailed description of the animal or animals to be provided for, appointment of the person who will be the trustee and be able to provide day-to-day care for the designated pet or pets, as well as an allocation of funds to be used in caring for the animals.

One can optionally designate an additional person to verify the trustee is taking care of the animals and using the resources of the trust wisely.

If you have questions about how to set up a pet trust within an estate plan, feel free to contact us to request a consultation and select a time for us to connect.