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Pet Trust Funds in the US

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
http://www.mysanantonio.com/pets/37274254.html

Quote:
There are two types of pet trusts available for animal owners. A traditional pet trust, the type Janes opted for, enlists a trustee who makes sure the person caring for a pet follows the instructions left by the owner. A statutory pet trust is the second type. It states that a certain amount of money is to be held to provide care for the pet and state representatives fill any loopholes concerning care.
I didn't know there there was any way to legally ensure that our pets are cared for as per our wishes if we die before them. Turns out 39 states in the US recognize trust funds set up for that purpose. I'm going to look into this some more.
post #2 of 16
It's funny that you should post this. I spent a bunch of time in December with my financial advisor, setting up my trust. I did set up a trust for my kitties, specifying who would take care of them and designating a lump sum of money, per cat, for it's care. I just looked it up in my trust. In Michigan, it's called 'Honorary Trust for Domesticated Pets Pursuant to MCLA 700.2722.' The trust states that the honorary trust for domesticated pets shall teriminate within 21 years after my death, or when no living animal is covered by the trust, which ever occurs earlier.

I'm sure some people would consider me a fruitcake for doing this, but I have no children other than my cats, and I feel responsible for their care!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
I'm sure some people would consider me a fruitcake for doing this, but I have no children other than my cats, and I feel responsible for their care!
I certainly don't think you are a fruitcake. But I guess no one in these forums would.

Who did you designate as the trustee? I have a caregiver in mind for mine but I'm not sure who would be best as the trustee.
post #4 of 16
I chose my sister, who is definitely a cat lover. If, for some reason, my sister is not able, I asked a close friend if she would (of course, my primary concern was to find a true cat lover!)
post #5 of 16
I work for a government retirement plan (similar to a 401k) and I was surprised at the number of people that named a trust for their pets as one of the beneficiaries. Of course, they are set up as a trust with a trustee (since Fluffy can't actually fill out the forms), but it's not as uncommon as people think. For our purposes, usually the trustee is a lawyer and the caregiver is named in the will.
post #6 of 16
This is a wonderful idea. I haven't done it yet, but I'm going to. I am also interested in doing some kind of indigent animal fund with the emergency animal hospital that we use.

This is off the subject, but a very sick stray kitten turned up on my brother's porch one night. My brother and his wife are not cat people, but they're kindhearted. They rushed it to the emergency animal hospital. The kitten died at the hospital while being examined and my brother was preparing to pay the bill. As it turned out, someone had willed the hospital money for this type of situation. My brother didn't have to pay anything for trying to help a stray.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseangel View Post
This is a wonderful idea. I haven't done it yet, but I'm going to. I am also interested in doing some kind of indigent animal fund with the emergency animal hospital that we use.

This is off the subject, but a very sick stray kitten turned up on my brother's porch one night. My brother and his wife are not cat people, but they're kindhearted. They rushed it to the emergency animal hospital. The kitten died at the hospital while being examined and my brother was preparing to pay the bill. As it turned out, someone had willed the hospital money for this type of situation. My brother didn't have to pay anything for trying to help a stray.
That's awesome!!!! If I were a moneybags, that's what I would do!!!! or some kind of fund where people could get assistance for this..
post #8 of 16
an easier way in many states is to write it in your will... That is what I did as my state recolonizes hand written wills quicker than trusts as I unfortunately had to pay to find out after Moms death ... It too mere minutes , and I named the caretaker and what was to be used for the animals( of course this needs updating with each animals passing and coming)
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
an easier way in many states is to write it in your will... That is what I did as my state recolonizes hand written wills quicker than trusts as I unfortunately had to pay to find out after Moms death ... It too mere minutes , and I named the caretaker and what was to be used for the animals( of course this needs updating with each animals passing and coming)
The problem is that you can't leave money to an animal in a will. With a trust you get a legally binding way to ensure that a portion of your estate will be used for their care and for nothing else.
post #10 of 16
This is all very interesting, and good to know. When I opened a bank account recently, I wanted to list Nova as my beneficiary to which my mom said, "How is she going to cash a check?"

But really, it is good to know. I was wondering how to make sure any money I leave behind goes to my pets, or to help homeless pets if I don't have any when the time comes. (Like that could happen. )
post #11 of 16
my will has this wording:
Quote:
i give my pet[s] to my sister, ---- , along w/$----.--, for the purpose of providing care for my pet. ----, caretaker of my pet, must provide a caring home for my pet. she must continue any & all medications my pet is receiving, & must provide for any medications of treatments my pet may need in the future. she must also continue regularly schedule vet visits for preventative healthcare maintenance. if the caretaker fails or is otherwise unable to provide my pet w/this standard of care, both my pet & he $----.-- shall be divested & given to my neice, ----. if my pet[s] does not survive me, no property or cash shall pass under this article.
my sister is the executor - if she predeceases me, my brother is.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
my will has this wording:
my sister is the executor - if she predeceases me, my brother is.
The problem with just leaving the money to the caregiver is that the money is then an asset of the caregiver and is subject to being lost in, for instance, a divorce settlement, a liability lawsuit, a bankruptcy, etc. Also, if the caregiver should die while the pets are still alive, the money is part of the caregivers estate and goes to caregivers beneficiaries who may or may not agree to care for the pets. What a trust does is ensure that no matter what happens the money intended for their care can only be used for their care.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Nova View Post
. When I opened a bank account recently, I wanted to list Nova as my beneficiary to which my mom said, "How is she going to cash a check?"
Some places will accept an "X" for a signature....maybe they will also accept a paw print?
post #14 of 16
i give my pet[s] to my sister, ---- , along w/$----.--, for the purpose of providing care for my pet. ----, caretaker of my pet, must provide a caring home for my pet. she must continue any & all medications my pet is receiving, & must provide for any medications of treatments my pet may need in the future. she must also continue regularly schedule vet visits for preventative healthcare maintenance. if the caretaker fails or is otherwise unable to provide my pet w/this standard of care, both my pet & he $----.-- shall be divested & given to my neice, ----. if my pet[s] does not survive me, no property or cash shall pass under this article.

that is exactly how mine is done per the lawyer I consulted .... Having just dealt with a trust and then finding a WILL... Wills are far easier to deal with and get needed access ....
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post

I'm sure some people would consider me a fruitcake for doing this, but I have no children other than my cats, and I feel responsible for their care!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I certainly don't think you are a fruitcake. But I guess no one in these forums would.


I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, and really need to get my will drawn up to ensure my babies are well provided for after I'm gone.
post #16 of 16
The trust sounds like a good idea! Leaving money in a will for pet care is too iffy. You should have seen how my cousins fought over my aunts estate!

I'm going to look into it some more.
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