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Pet Trusts

Pet Trusts in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota and surrounding West Florida areas.

When thinking about estate planning for the future, people often overlook the care and support of their pets in the event of their death. However, there are several ways in which a person can address the long term needs of their pets, including the use of a last will and testament or living trust to designate a specific dollar amount and instructions for the care of a pet. Florida law specifically allows for a pet to be a beneficiary of a trust. Pet trusts can be as simple as designating money for a pet that survives you, or as complex as leaving detailed instructions for care, alternate caregivers, and a system of checks and balances that would ensure your pet is being taken care of properly, where one person is in charge of the funds, and another is in charge of the care of the pet.

When creating a pet trust, you should give careful consideration to who the pet caregiver will be once in the event that you pass away or become incapacitated. You should ensure that the person you designate is willing and able to accept this responsibility, or in the alternative, delegate authority to such designated person to select a future home for the pet in the event that such person is unable to care for the pet.

The trustee and the pet caregiver are generally the same person. In addition to the trustee, however, Florida law specifically allows for the nomination of a trust protector that has authority to enforce the trust if the trustee is not performing their duties.

If you have questions or concerns regarding pet trusts, please contact our office, as our attorneys routinely deal with pet trusts within the courts of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota and the surrounding West Florida areas.

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