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Are Pet Trusts Legal in California?

Are Pet Trusts Legal in California

Many individuals worry about whether their pets will be cared for after their passing. This is especially true for elderly citizens who have spent years bonding with a service animal or a trusted animal companion in their twilight years. But how can you make sure that your animal gets to experience a happy, meaningful life after your passing? A pet trust is one option, and this allows you to set money aside specifically for the care of your animal. But are pet trusts even legal in California? What kind of issues might you encounter when trying to set up a pet trust?

What is a Pet Trust?

 A pet trust allows you to set aside a sum of money specifically for the care of your pet after your passing. A trust is managed by a trustee, and this individual must follow the specific instructions you leave behind. With a pet trust, the trustee is only allowed to distribute funds for the care of the pet. This prevents any family members from using pet trust funds for their own personal expenses.

You can put as much money as you like in the pet trust. You can even leave all of your money to your pet with none going to your family. However, the pet trust only lasts for the duration of the animal’s lifespan. Once the animal passes away, the funds will be distributed according to your will or any other wishes you might have.

The only exception is if the animal is pregnant at the time of your passing. If this occurs, then the pet trust may continue to provide for the animal’s descendants after the original pet’s passing. This could potentially prevent your family from inheriting any money until many decades have passed.

Are Pet Trusts Legal in California?

 Yes, pet trusts have been established in California since 1991. The legality of pet trusts in many other states is a subject of debate – mostly because pets are considered “property” under the eyes of the law. One piece of property cannot inherit another piece of property – which is why you cannot name your pets as beneficiaries in your will. It would be like leaving a coffee table to your favorite couch. The concept of a pet trust allows you to circumvent this issue. Pet trusts were amended in California in 2008, creating a stricter system that allows for greater oversight and guarantees that the money is truly being used for the pet’s benefit.

Where Can I Find an Estate Planning Attorney in California?

 If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney in California, look no further than Moga Law Firm. Over the years, we have assisted numerous individuals who wish to take their estate planning process seriously. A pet trust is just one example of the legal possibilities when you work with a qualified estate planning attorney. With our assistance, you can put all of your affairs in order and move forward with the rest of your life while having achieved a sense of confidence. Book your consultation today.

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