Pet Trusts  

Purpose: The purpose of a pet trust is to provide funds to pay for a pet's care after the death of the trustor.

How does it work? The trust can provide that a trust will be established for the care of the pet, and a specified amount of money will be used by the trustee for the care, feeding, and health care of the pet for the remainder of its life. The trust for the pet can be provided either through a will or through a living trust.  The pet trust can specify how the trust fund will be spent, and to whom the balance of the trust fund will be given after the pet's death.

Legal authority: California Probate Code section 15212.

Alternative: Another approach to lifetime care for pets would be to give the pet to a friend, and also give the friend a cash bequest. This would allow the trust to be closed prior to the death of the pet, but also has a risk because the friend would not be legally obligated to pay for the pet's care.

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