The Minnesota legislature recently passed a law that allows Minnesotans to create a trust for the care of an animal. Pet owners now have additional tools at their disposal to ensure that their beloved pets will be cared for according to their wishes after they pass away.
A trust for the care of an animal, often called a "Pet Trust," allows a pet owner to not only designate who will care for their pet after they have passed away, but also allows a pet owner to set aside money for the care of that pet, and to ensure that the money will be used for that pet's care for the remainder of the pet's life. This can be especially important for a pet who is ill, or for a pet that may live for a long time such as a parrot or a horse.
And a Pet Trust also allows the pet owner to designate what happens to the proceeds remaining in the trust after the pet's death.
Pet trusts are the newest tool in the tool kit for planning for your pet, but there are also other ways to plan for your pet. Planning for your pet in your estate plan allows you to designate a caretaker for your pet to ensure that your pet will be cared for as you wish after you are gone, and planning for your pet can prevent family conflict when more than one family member wants to be the caretaker for a beloved family pet.
Contact Attorney Heidi Van De Berg, or any of the other estate planning attorneys at Gries Lenhardt Allen P.L.L.P., to discuss planning for your family pet.