What do I need to establish a pet trust in Florida?
Pet trusts help Floridians who own cats, dogs, birds, horses, and other animals ensure that money will be set aside specifically for their pets’ care. Florida’s laws were updated in 2003 to address trusts created for animal care.
Since pets are considered property, they are not legally permitted to receive an inheritance. A specifically designed pet trust is the best tool for leaving money for pets in Florida. You can work with one of our Miami trust lawyers to outline the specific terms and circumstances under which your trust will become effective.
Besides meeting with a lawyer to establish a pet trust, you will need to think about:
Budget. Have information about your pets’ medical and general care costs. Our trust lawyers in Miami will review these documents with you to help forecast future expenses for your pets so that your trust will offer sufficient funds. This is especially important for animals with chronic illnesses or special dietary needs.
Trustees. The pet trust not only provides the finances to cover care, it appoints caretakers. Think of the people whom you trust in providing optimal care for your pets in your absence. Consider the trustworthiness, lifestyle, and medical needs of these individuals when deciding. You may have a relative you trust who lives in a studio apartment in Miami, but they may not be able to provide the right living conditions for a horse. Alternatively, a sibling may be trustworthy but allergic to cats. Having a list of potential trustees will help since a lawyer can advise how to include both primary and secondary appointments of trustees.
Pet identification. Provide copies of pet records to clearly show which animals will be covered under the pet trust.
Funding. How will you plan to fund your trust? Our Miami trust lawyers can review several options that will not only help cover pet expenses, but protect your assets as well.