Pet Trusts: Not Just for Dogs and Cats

The growing popularity of Pet Trusts in the United States is further proof that as a nation we love our pets and consider them members of our families, even if they have fur, whiskers, or in this case, feathers.

It’s one thing to love your pets. And owning 32 of any animal larger than a fish is somewhat unusual. But Leslie Ann Mandel loved her cockatiels, and her will included a mention of each and every one of them.

Mandel even put $100,000 into a trust for their care and left detailed instructions about how to care for them. She appointed her stepson as the trustee and he is now responsible for the birds.

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog wrote about this story in a recent article,”Deceased Millionaire Leaves $100,000 To A Pet Trust For Her 32 Cockatiels.”

The unusual aspect of this story is not that a wealthy woman left behind a trust for her pets or even that she left behind such a large amount of money for them. The only unusual aspect is that Mandel left behind the money to birds. Large pet trust for dogs and cats are becoming very common as state laws have changed to make them possible. Americans love their pets almost as much as their own families.

The only way to ensure that your pets receive the same care after you pass away as they did when you are alive is to leave precise instructions and money so those instructions can be carried out. You do not have to be as wealthy as Mandel to create a pet trust. A much more modest sum can be placed into trust for the care of a beloved family pet.

Ask your estate planning attorney about a pet trust, if you are interested in learning more.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (September 6, 2015) “Deceased Millionaire Leaves $100,000 To A Pet Trust For Her 32 Cockatiels.”