An estimated 500,000 pets are euthanized each year by shelters and veterinarians when their owners predecease them.  If something unfortunate were to happen to you today, would your pets be taken care of tomorrow?  Have you made arrangements for their ongoing room, board and veterinarian care?

Your pet has been a loyal companion and friend.  Unfortunately, if you have no plan for their future care then you are simply leaving the future care of your pet to chance.  A properly prepared and adequately funded pet trust ensures that your pet will be cared for, providing greater peace of mind.

How Epiphany Law Can Help

Pet trust laws are now in place in all states, providing a legal arrangement that allows owners to establish trust accounts, upon their death, for the ongoing care and maintenance of their domestic or companion animals.  An estate planning attorney can draft a pet trust specific to your wishes by naming a trustee and caretaker to carry out those wishes with proper funding.

Pet trusts have specific rules because “traditional” trusts were geared only to human lives.  The experienced estate planning attorneys at Epiphany Law can help you protect and care for all your pets, big or small.


Q:  When do I create a pet trust?
A:  You may create a pet trust when you are alive, an “inter vivos” trust, or when you die by including the trust provisions in your will, a “testamentary” trust.  However, whether you decide on an inter vivos or a testamentary trust, the key is sitting down now with an experienced attorney to put your wishes into writing.

Q:  How do I know my pet will be adequately cared for?

A:  In creating a pet trust, it is important to choose a proper caretaker to care for your pet. This person should be willing to assume responsibilities, able to provide a stable home for your pet, and have an existing harmonious relationship and familiarity with the pet.  You may also want to appoint a secondary caretaker in case the primary person is unwilling or unable to serve.

Q:  How much should I use to fund a pet trust?

A:  It depends on the expected life span and projected cost of caring for your pet.  For example, a horse will have a significantly longer life span and higher cost of care than a dog.  Other desired trust instructions, such as possible caretaker compensation and your pet’s particular needs, should be considered when determining the amount of funding necessary.