We all love our pets. You may worry about what will happen to your pet if you pass away. A pet trust is the best way to ensure your beloved pet will be well cared for in the event of your passing.

What Is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust is a legally enforceable document that outlines the care and maintenance of your pet in the event you pass away. This document sets expectations for arrangements regarding who will care for your animal.

The pet trust contains allotted funds, usually cash, for the care and maintenance of the pet. The person who creates the trust, otherwise known as the “grantor”, leaves behind detailed instructions and financial support for the trustee. This is all done in the form of a pet trust.

The Three Kinds of Pet Trusts

All states honor some form of a pet trust, though the laws may change slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Pet trusts fall into three buckets.

Honorary Pet Trust

With an honorary pet trust, you leave funds behind for a specific person to care for your pet after you die. The person named will only receive the funds when and if they are actively caring for your pet, according to the instruction on the trust. This is considered a conditional bequest with very specific requirements.

Traditional Pet Trust

With this kind of pet trust, you name someone in your will to care for your pet, just as with an honorary trust. However, this is not a conditional bequest. Instead, the trustee has access to the funds to withdraw from whenever they need it to care for the pet.

This trust is easier becomes it contains no ambiguous guidelines around when the trustee can withdraw funds, however, it also poses an issue if the named trustee cannot or will not care for your pet after your death.

Statutory Pet Trust

With a statutory trust, you leave the funds for your pet’s care to the pet itself. In this scenario, the funds travel wherever the pet goes. The named trustee on your will needs to appoint a caretaker and allocate the trust funds to the appointed caretaker.

You may name a specific person as a caretaker in your will. If you do not name a caretaker, or the named caretaker is unable to accept your pet, the trustee can appoint a suitable caretaker with no legal issues.


It is smart to think about who will care for your pet after you pass away. It is even wiser to make a detailed plan for your beloved pet’s care in your will. This way, you can be sure in the event you are no longer around, your pet will still have a great life. Make sure to get in contact with Gandhi Selim Law today.

Published by
Gandhi Selim Law

Recent Posts

When Would I Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

Attorneys who specialize in real estate can provide you with the guidance you may need…

2 weeks ago

What Is a Small Estate Affidavit and When Is It Applicable?

Small estate affidavits are legal documents that allow an individual to claim a deceased person’s…

4 weeks ago

Reviewing Your Will/Trust Every Couple of Years: Why It Is Important

Setting up a will or trust is a responsible thing to do, and it is…

1 month ago

Giving to Charities in Your Trust

When you have trust, there are a lot of things that you can do with…

2 months ago

What Is a 1031 Exchange and When Is It Applicable?

A 1031 exchange is an option available in real estate where the owner of a…

2 months ago

Named the Executor of a Will (and the Person Passes Away): What Is the Next Step?

The executor of a will has an important job following the death of the person…

3 months ago