Livens & Reed, PLLC

Pet trusts in estate planning for Texas residents

When it comes to estate planning, it's important that all matters are included in documents. A large number of households in Texas and throughout the United States have pets. Pet owners may benefit from advanced estate planning regarding what will happen to the pet in case the inevitable happens.

Most pet owners may consider their pets to be family, but under the law, pets are treated as personal property. Since pets are property, it is imperative that owners establish a pet trust, which indicates how the pet will be cared for and where funds are located. In regard to a pet trust, it will need to be properly funded with a certain amount of money. Pet owners can do this by establishing how much it will cost for insurance and vet care. In addition, owners can also establish how much it will cost for medications and food.

Aside from funding a trust, it is important to establish who will be put in charge. This is done by choosing a caregiver and a trustee. The difference between the two is that a caretaker is the person who will provide for the pet on a daily basis. A trustee is the person who will be in charge of finances and has the responsibility of making sure the funds are used in an appropriate manner.

Pet trusts are vital for ensuring that the pet is properly cared for in case of the owner's passing. Pet trusts also allow funds to be distributed and instruct caregivers and trustees on how to use them. Estate planning is an important function for anyone who has an asset, no matter how large or small it is. Texas pet owners may want to explore their legal options on creating legally binding documents.

Source:, "Estate Planning: Creating a Pet Trust", Tracy Craig, April 21, 2014

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