Can I Include My Pet in My Maryland Estate Plan?

Everybody loves their pets. Everybody has to create an estate plan. It’s only natural that at some point, these two very different aspects of life will intersect. You have most likely heard of wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents, but have you ever heard of a pet trust? These documents can seriously come in handy, and if you have a pet, whether it be a dog, cat, or otherwise, it may be in your best interest to draft one. Please continue reading and reach out to our experienced Maryland estate planning attorney to learn more about pet trusts in Maryland and how we can help you draft one. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the purpose of drafting a pet trust?

Essentially, when you write your will, you can include a pet trust. You can also include a pet trust as part of a revocable living trust, or even as a stand-alone trust. That being said, the point of creating a pet trust is so that you can formally name someone who will take care of your pet, should you ever pass on before your pet does. That being said, you should understand that the trustee does not necessarily have to be the same person who will look after and care for your pet, which is why you must be very specific when you draft the document. You will have to provide clear instructions regarding your wishes for your pet’s health care, veterinarians, and, when the time comes, its burial, as well as how all remaining funds left towards your pet should be distributed when he or she passes on.

How do I create a pet trust?

First, you will appoint a trustee. This is the person who will manage all finances associated with your pet. You will then choose a guardian who will actually care for your pet. You can choose two separate people or just one person if you trust that person enough. Once you pick your pet’s trustee and guardian, you will have to tell them what their responsibilities will be. From here, our firm can help you draft either an inter vivos or a testamentary trust, wherein we will list all care your pets need. We can also include a backup trustee or guardian in this document. For any additional questions, simply give our experienced Maryland estate planning attorneys a call today. We are here to help you–and your pets!

Contact our experienced Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.