Planning For Your Pet

As pet-lovers, we at DeBellis Law, P.A. understand treating our companion animals as family members.  Our pets are dependent upon us and it is our job to make sure that their care and comfort continue uninterrupted should we become incapable of caring for them ourselves. One way to plan for that contingency is to establish a Pet Trust as part of your estate plan. 

What is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust is a mechanism to provide for the care and maintenance of one or more companion animals in the event of your disability or death.  Typically, there is no need to establish a separate trust during your lifetime, but we can add a pet trust provision within your estate plan.  You will designate a trustee, and the trustee will hold property in trust for the benefit of your pets.  Payments to a designated caregiver will be made on a regular basis to pay for your pet’s food, health, and maintenance. The trust will continue for the life of the pet.  If there are any funds left in the trust at that time, you will determine how that money should be distributed.

Why a Pet Trust?

If you’re like us, you want to make sure your pets receive the best care possible if you are unable to provide it.  That may mean that one of your loved ones will provide care, or you may choose to pre-arrange for care with a nonprofit organization that will either care for your pets or arrange for placement in a loving home.  By establishing a trust for the benefit of your pets, you can rest assured that your directions regarding your pets’ care will be carried out by listing specific instructions.  Since pet owners know the particular habits of their pets better than anyone else, you can describe the kind of care your pets should have and list the person(s) who would be willing to provide that care.


During the intake and consultation process, be sure to tell us about your desire to provide for your pets should they outlive you (and we always love to see pictures!).

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