Our pets, whether they be dogs (like Howard, pictured), cats, or others, may outlive us. For many of us, our household pets are a part of our families. The law, however, sees pets as personal property; personal property is usually distributed to beneficiaries through a will or the probate process. This can take time, and whoever inherits your pets may not have the resources to provide the level of care you wanted your pet to have. Although you cannot leave money to a pet in Florida, money can be set aside for the care of your pet.
One option is to leave money outright to the person you designate to receive ownership of your pet in your will. Another option is to set up a trust, funded to provide the financial resources needed for the daily and the long-term care of many pets. The trust can establish a care-taker for your pet and a trustee to help decide how money is spent. A pet trust also helps facilitate the prompt transition of your pet into a new permanent home.
I can help you understand the issues to consider in funding a pet trust, such as the expected life span of your pets and any health concerns. In addition to daily costs of food and long-term veterinary costs, money can also be used to cover expenses such as boarding, grooming, and insurance. After your pet dies, any remaining funds can be directed to go to the person who cared for your pet, other beneficiaries, or to a charity.