13 February 2012

Pet trusts are better than wills

From the New York Times:
Ms. Schiro lives in Manhattan with her 104-year-old mother, Anna Schiro, and three cats. The document specifies that if the cats... outlive Ms. Schiro and her mother, they will be taken to a retirement community at the North Shore Animal League America, where they will live out their days, paid for by money set aside for them.

“This way I know that they will not end up at a shelter, where they would be killed because they’re too old to be adopted,” Ms. Schiro said.
The pet trust is a little-known legal option for the elderly and caregivers worried about what will happen to beloved animals following the deaths of their owners. In the document, the owner specifies a “guardian” who will carry out the owner’s wishes for care, including instructions for what food the animal should eat and how the pet should live. Funds or property, or both, must be set aside to pay for the care.

Not every state permits pet trusts. Among those that do not are Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Vermont and West Virginia, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But including a pet in a will is not always a suitable alternative...
Explained in more detail in the New York Times article.


  1. West Virginia and Vermont both have laws supporting pet trusts. If you are interested there is a fully automated pet trust available online at Trusted Pet Partners.


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