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Who Should I Select To Act As Trustee Of My Pet Trust?

The most important issue to consider when choosing a trustee is to choose someone who will put the interest of your pet and your trust ahead of his or her own interests. Therefore, you might consider not using as trustee anyone who would have a right to receive any funds left over after the passing of your pet. For example, if my mother will receive the remainder of my trust after my dog Sparky has passed away, I probably will not appoint my mother to act as Sparky’s trustee. I will want someone who has no conflict of interest to serve in that position. There are professionals, such as your attorney or accountant, who can serve as trustees, but they generally have to be paid for their time. This would require that you fund additional money into the trust to cover these known expenses.

So, if you have a trusted friend who is willing to serve without pay, that may be a better outcome for your pet and for the remainder beneficiary who will receive whatever money is left over when your pet has passed on. The question of who will serve as trustee is one of the most important questions that you should address with your attorney. When all things are considered, it should be a person who has the likely personality to best assure that your pet receives the care that it deserves.

Who Should I Select As A Caregiver?

I suggest that you only appoint or nominate caregivers who have a known history of being fond of animals. Some of my clients have appointed a person specifically because that person had no animals of his or her own to compete for time. Unfortunately, the reason that a person has no animals might in fact be because he or she does not want any. Therefore, being appointed as a caregiver for the pet may not be a desired position and the care provided may be much less loving and thoughtful than another animal lover, even if that animal lover already has a pet. Keep in mind that no matter who you choose as a caregiver, it would be wise to have a backup plan. There is always the risk that the caregiver will become ill, incapacitated or die. Therefore, a backup plan is always in order.

What Happens If A Trust Runs Out Of Funds Before My Pet Dies?

When your trust is out of money there is just not much that can be done. You now have to depend on the caregiver to provide the financial assistance that your pet requires. If they are able and willing to that is ideal, but if they are either unwilling or unable, you will not receive the outcome that you had once hoped for. There is no great answer to this question. If you don’t set aside enough money to last for as long as your pet lasts, someone may be inconvenienced or the pet may not receive the care that they deserve.

What Happens If I Can’t Take Care Of My Pet Before I Die?

The existence of this possibility is the reason that many people create irrevocable trusts for their pet and fund those trusts while they are alive and in their right mind. Life is uncertain, not only our pets’ lives but also our own lives are uncertain. Therefore, some of my clients insist upon placing assets into a pet trust even before they provide for their own care. The advantage of doing this is that you have some assurance that there is money set aside for the care of your pet. The potential disadvantage of this plan is that the number and types of pets that you own may change significantly over time. Therefore you will have to write this trust in such a way as to allow for such changes over time. This may mean that you have to overfund the trust in the beginning to allow you the flexibility you deserve for the future.

For more information on Trustees Of Pet Trusts In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 754-4166 today.

Terrell Monks, Esq. - Estate Planning Attorney, Edmond City

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