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The Rosen Firm
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Pets are Special People.
If you are anything like me, your pets are far more than
just animals. They are special people
who just happen to have fur and walk on four legs. They are certainly among the most important
creatures in your life and you are no doubt the most important one in
theirs. Certainly you can recall times
when their unwavering loyalty and unconditional love made a trying time or
situation easier for you to handle. You
can return the favor by taking steps to assure their well being when you are no
longer able to be there for them.
What is a Pet Trust?
A pet trust is a similar to other
trusts and specifically creates an arrangement that provides for the care and
maintenance of one or more of your pets in the event of your disability or death.
As the person who creates the trust, you are referred to as the ‘settlor’. The
person whom you entrust with the funds is called the ‘trustee’. Your pet trust can
take effect either during your lifetime or after your death. Tex. Prop. Code § 112.037 specifically addresses the issue providing that a
trust may be created for the care of an animal or animals alive during your lifetime. The trust terminates upon the
death of your last surviving pet covered by the trust.
Why Create a Pet Trust?
Because trusts are enforceable by law, you will have peace
of mind knowing your pets will be cared for according to your wishes. The
directions you leave in the trust can and should be very specific. If your cat is
a picky eater you can specify a particular brand of food or if you want your
dog taken for a walk regularly, you can specify this in the trust agreement. A
trust that goes into effect while you are still alive can also provide
instructions for the care of your pets in the event that you become physically
or mentally disabled. Since you know the particular habits and eccentricities of
your pets better than anyone else, you can describe the kind of care your pets
should have. You can be as creative as
you wish in this area, addressing nutritional and health issues, naming
preferred veterinarians and ultimately providing instructions for your pet’s
burial or cremation.