What is a Pet Trust?

For many people, a dog or cat is a member of the family. Just like human family, a person may want to provide for animal family members in the event of the owner’s death or disability. Thanks to a relatively recent change to Ohio law, a Pet Trust can do just that.

Ohio law permits the creation of a trust for the care of an animal, commonly known as a Pet trust. The trust can provide for the care and support of any animal that is alive during the trust maker’s lifetime.

The trust maker generally would appoint a caregiver and a person, called a Trustee, who would make sure the terms of the trust are followed. If no person is appointed, the Court will appoint someone. Any person who has an interest in the wellbeing of the animal may request that a Court appoint a person as Trustee or request that the Court remove a person who has already been appointed.

Any assets placed in trust for the care of an animal may be applied only to their intended use like food, veterinary expenses, etc. except to the extent that a Court decides that it exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Any excess assets would be distributed to the Trust maker, if he is still living, or to the Trust maker’s beneficiaries if he is not.

For more information on creating a trust for the care of your pet, contact a Cleveland Estate Planning Lawyer.