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Pet Trusts: Have You Forgotten Your Pet(s)? Your Very Loyal Pet?

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Trust Attorney

Who is the first to greet you when you come home?  For me, it used to be my young daughters or son.  But now that my youngest daughter is a teenager (and too cool for such shows of affection) those days are past.  So now the first to greet me is Toby, our loyal Yorkie.

If you have a loyal pet like this, of course you do not want to forget him or her if you can no longer care for your pet.  You have detailed instructions in your trust or will to take care of your loved ones – but have you forgotten your pets?

Fortunately, Florida has a law to help.   In Florida you can establish a pet trust to make sure that your pet(s) is properly cared for if you can no longer do so, or care for your pet upon your death. See F.S. 736.0408

You don’t want your pets to go through a probate process – that can take up to nine months or more.  Make provisions for your pets in your living revocable trust.

Note: Florida law on pet trusts was changed in 2007. As of July 1, 2007 Florida Statute 736.0408 replaced the previous statute 737.116.   If you established a pet trust prior to July 1, 2007, it likely needs to be updated.

5 Points For Your Pet Trust

Here are five points to remember in establishing a pet trust:

  1. Select the right Pet Caretaker.  You are the best person to know who will take good care of your pets.  Identify and name that person for your trustee.
  2. Set aside a reasonable sum of money to care for the pet for its life.
  3. Set aside a reasonable sum of money to compensate the Pet Caretaker.
  4. If you have more than two pets, more than likely you want them to stay together.  Clearly state this.
  5. Ask your attorney to make sure that you can easily add a new pet to the trust that you may acquire after you sign your trust.

We will be happy to help you set up a Pet Trust or modify your existing living trust to take care of your pets.   Contact Rarick & Beskin, Miami Trust attorneys, at (305) 556-5209 or email us at info@raricklaw.com.

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced Miami trust attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

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