Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Can You Establish a Trust for Your Pet in Arkansas?

When you are going through the estate planning process, you are really planning a future for you and your family. Family includes loved ones and even friends that have become family. It can also include your pets. Beloved pets are often considered by all to be family members. You may be relieved to know that you can protect your pet’s future in your estate plan. There are legal instruments you can put in place that will allow you to have the peace of mind knowing that your pet will be properly cared for after you pass away.

Establishing a Trust for Your Pet in Arkansas

As of 2005, you are able to establish a trust for your pet in the State of Arkansas. This is great news for so many of us who consider our pets to be a part of our family. A pet trust functions like any other trust in its establishment and how it works. You create a trust, fund the trust, and appoint a trustee who is tasked with administering the trust according to its terms.

You can fund the trust with the amount of money and other assets necessary to care for your pet for its estimated lifetime. The terms of the trust can be as specific as you wish. You can not only provide funds for the care of your pet, but you can name the person to take over the care of your pet after you pass away. You can outline how your pet should be cared for in the trust document. You may specify any particular needs of the pet regarding health care and grooming.

In order for a pet trust to be valid, the animal must be alive during the trust settlor’s lifetime. The trust will end when the animal dies. If the trust is created for more than one pet, it will terminate when the last surviving animal dies. The property held in the trust may only be used to carry out the purpose of the trust. In some cases, however, a court may find that the value of the trust property vastly exceeds the amount necessary to accomplish the purpose of the trust, caring for the animal. Any excess property that is not needed to care for the animal will be returned to the trust settlor. Should the trust settlor be deceased, the excess will be distributed to the successor of the trust settlor.

Trust and Estate Administration Attorneys

There are many benefits to having a pet trust in place. You can provide funds for the care of your pet after you are gone and may also appoint a trusted individual to furnish that care. Since trusts do not need to go through probate, there will be no delay in the care of your pet. Pet trusts are among a number of very useful estate planning tools that you may not be familiar with. Consult with the dedicated trust and estate attorneys at Hyden, Miron & Foster to start securing a future you want for you and your loved ones. Contact us today.

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