A pet trust is a legal arrangement to provide care for a pet after its owner dies. In 2001 the Nevada Legislature enacted NRS 163.0075which specifically recognizes a trust created for the care of one or more animals that are alive at the time of the settlor’s death. Such a trust terminates upon the death of all animals covered by the terms of the trust.
Unlike a simple directive in a will, a pet trust provides a host of additional protections and advantages:
Pet trusts are valid during the pet owner’s life and after his death. Pet trusts can help preempt problems with substantial and involved estates. Pet trusts are particularly useful if the client expects a contest to the estate – for example, if the amount left for the pet’s care is enough that someone will contest the client’s capacity, or if there is a litigious family member whom the pet owner believes may dispute the final documents.
Pet trusts and pet protection agreements control the disbursement of funds.
Pet trusts allow for an investment trustee. A trust protector (separate from the pet guardian or trustee) can be appointed to invest funds with a view toward growth of the principal and future use on behalf of the pet, heirs, and charitable recipients.
Pet trusts and pet protection agreements allow provisions for incapacity. Pet trusts and pet protection agreements can ensure that the owner and pets will remain together in the event that your client moves to a nursing home or other long‑term care facility. Studies have shown that seniors and those with health issues receive increasing benefits from their pets – lower blood pressure, increased exercise and circulation, reduced anxiety and stress, boosted mental acuity, enhanced opportunities for social interaction, and decreased loneliness. The New York Times has reported that nursing home residents live longer when a pet is present. With a pet trust or pet protection agreement, owners may even leave a portion of the funds remaining after the pet’s death to the facilities that kept the owner and pet together.
We know how important pets are to their owners. Having a pet trust prepared now will provide you peace of mind knowing your pet will be fully cared for the way you love and care for them now.