Can My Pet Be Included in My Maryland Estate Plan?

If you have recently begun creating your estate plan, you have likely learned about wills, trusts, and other legal documents to include in your estate plan. Many individuals will also benefit from learning about a pet trust. If you have a pet, it may be in your best interest to draft a pet trust. To learn more about this process and how our experienced Maryland estate planning attorney can assist you, continue reading and reach out to our firm.

What is the purpose of drafting a pet trust?

There are a few options you may explore when creating a pet trust. You can include a pet trust when you write your will; you can also include a pet trust as a part of a revocable living trust, or as a stand-alone trust. The purpose of creating a pet trust is so that you can formally name someone who will care for your pet if you pass away before your pet does.

The trustee does not necessarily have to be the same person who will look after your pet. For this reason, it is important that you are specific when drafting the document. You will be required to provide clear instructions regarding your wishes for your pet’s health care, veterinarians, burial, and how all remaining funds left towards your pet should be distributed when they pass.

How do I create a pet trust?

The first step you will take when creating a pet trust is to appoint a trustee. The trustee is the person who will manage all finances associated with your pet. Next, you will choose a guardian. The guardian will specifically care for your pet. It is possible to choose two separate people or just one person for each of these roles. Once you have selected your pet’s trustee and guardian, you will instruct them on what their responsibilities will be. Next, our firm will assist you in drafting an inter vivos or a testamentary trust where we will list all of the care that your pet requires. You may also include a backup trustee or guardian in this document.

If you have any further questions about this process or require assistance moving forward, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced Maryland estate planning attorney today. Our legal team is prepared to assist you in creating a pet trust. Give our firm a call to get started.

Contact our experienced Montgomery County, 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.