The other day I was meeting with a client who stated – “I have a silly question, but I need to ask it. Can I provide for my dog in my estate plan?” I explained to this client that this question is one that is often asked by many clients with pets. And why shouldn’t it be asked when most pet owners view their pets as members of their family and as such want to ensure that their faithful companions’ needs are met if the owner does in fact pass away before the pet.
The answer to my client’s question is that she can provide for her dog through her estate plan. Nevada law provides that a person can create what is more commonly known as a “pet trust” (see NRS 163.0075). In order for a person to create a pet trust, the pet owner will need to decide how the trust will be funded, who will be the trustee, and who will be the caretaker of the pet. In addition, the pet owner will need to provide direction as to how the trustee or caretaker will manage the pet and the funds for the benefit of the pet. It may be helpful to provide specific instructions in the trust agreement as to the pet’s specific needs such as a certain brand of food to be fed to the pet or a particular veterinarian to be consulted for the pet’s care.
The benefit of creating a pet trust is that the trust is enforceable by law thereby providing pet owners with peace of mind knowing their pets will be cared for according to their instructions. If you should have any further questions regarding pet trusts, please feel free to contact the law office of JEFFREY BURR at (702) 433-4455 for a free half-hour consultation.