California families who have a much-loved furry friend will usually take it for granted that they'll outlive their pets, but if you're an elderly person, you might not be so sure. Your faithful companion could outlive you and what will happen then? Who will take care of your pet?
In general terms, pets are considered as property by the law, and you cannot leave assets in your pet's name. You can, however, create a pet trust to offer financial assistance to whoever takes charge of your pet after you're gone. Within your pet trust, you can name the person who will care for your pet as well as second and third options should your first choice be unable to fulfill his or her duties.
Your pet trust can also hold financial assets to be used for your pet's care. Usually, California residents who create a pet trust will leave behind $2,000 to $10,000 -- or it could be much less -- so that the person who cares for his or her pet can purchase food, pay for veterinary bills and buy your pet's special treats. A pet trust like this is a great way to ensure that leaving your pet behind does not create a financial burden for your pet's caretaker. It also helps ensure that your pet enjoys the same quality of life he or she enjoyed with you.
If you're hoping to create a pet trust, there will be multiple options available to you in terms of the type and nature of your trust documents. A California trust planning lawyer can assist you in determining the best way to organize your pet trust in this regard.