Vermont law authorizes the creation of a trust to provide financial support and care for animals if their owner becomes personally unable to provide for the pet’s care, on account of the owner’s disability or death. The trust (commonly known as a “pet trust”) can be created in in a “stand alone” revocable trust (which is useful in the case of the owner’s disability) or in the owner’s Will. (If in a Will, only, coordinating powers should be considered for the owner’s Power of Attorney in the event disability precedes the owner’s death.) The Trust can be drafted for specific pets you own now, or may own in the future.
One advantage of a pet trust is that you can provide very specific instructions about most anything you can think of regarding your pet. From a more legal point of view, I believe the most important provisions have to do with the following questions:
Who will be the Caretaker?
Who will be the Trustee/manage the money (should it be the same person)?
Who will succeed those people if they are unable or unavailable to do the job?
Do you wish to name someone with specific power to enforce the trust, if necessary, or rely on the default provisions of the law?
How much money should you contribute to the Trust?
If a pet trust sounds like something you would be interested in, be sure and mention it to me when you call for a free consultation. I love helping people put in place the right documents for ALL their loved ones, including their pets.