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What happens to my pet when I die?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2022 | Pet Trusts |

You can designate who you would like to look after your pets in your will. If someone other than the person you name thinks they have a claim to the animal, it is best to talk about it first to avoid them fighting each other in court.

Having someone care for the animal is one thing, but animals can be expensive. Your daughter might love to keep your horse, but there is no way she can afford to pay stables, vet bills and food costs. You could leave her money directly, but she may feel pressure to spend it on essential things such as mending her roof or her kid’s education.

If you want to ringfence money for a pet, put it in a pet trust. You can then restrict what that money can be used for, preventing your son-in-law from pressuring your daughter to spend it elsewhere.

You could make your daughter the trustee, so she manages the money according to the rules you set out. Or you could leave the horse with her and put someone else as trustee to pass her cash as and when needed or pay the bills directly.

Is there a limit to how long a pet trust can last?

Colorado only allows pet trusts to last the life of the animal you create them for. If, however, your horse had a foal in her belly when you died, it might extend to their lifetime.

Whether you have a horse, cat, dog or garter snake, creating a pet trust as part of your estate plan gives you peace of mind that the animal will be well looked after when you are gone.