Pet Trusts

When it comes to our pets, they are not just animal companions. They are valued members of the family and should be cared for as such.  

Did you know that in 2004 the District of Columbia created the pet trust law, D.C. Code § 19-1304.08Other states have them such as Virginia Code Ann., Wills, Trusts and Fiduciaries, § 64.2-726 and Maryland Code Ann., Estates and Trusts, § 14.5-407. 

Pet trusts are not just for the super wealthy or eccentric, which is a common legal myth. They are a growing trend and a great way to provide peace of mind in the event a tragedy occurs and you are unable to care for your pet.  

Your pet needs protection from the shelter! Ensuring that our pets are cared for after our death or should we become disabled is the responsible and loving thing to do.  

 With pet trusts, you are able to: 

  • Select a designated caregiver and backup caregiver. 
  • Establish a fund that will pay for the maintenance of your pet. 
  • Specify particularities of care (i.e., the brand of food products, recreational activities to be made available to your pet, veterinary visits and other such concerns). 
  • Instruct the caregiver when your pet is incapacitated, ill or otherwise in a situation requiring a high-level decision. 
  • Keep your pet out of a pound or shelter. 

When it comes to these special members of the family, it is important to ensure that they will be cared for if you become unable to care for them. Call our attorneys today. We have decades of experience working with clients in a variety of estate planning matters including pet trusts.

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