VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

What animal lovers need to know about pet trusts

When it comes to caring for pets, many people spare no expense, meaning their dogs, cats, birds, horses or whatever animals they own always receive the very best of everything from food and veterinary care to grooming and toys.

This level of devotion makes perfect sense when you stop to consider that statistics show that not only are two-thirds of all Americans now pet owners, but that almost 90 percent consider their pets to be family.

In fact, many people love their pets so much that they are now executing what are known as pet trusts in order to ensure that their beloved animals are cared for in the event of their demise or incapacity.

Some may naturally approach the idea of executing a pet trust with a degree of skepticism, likely doubting that such instruments are even recognized under the law.

This makes perfect sense given that the law has indeed historically treated pets as personal property for estate planning purposes, meaning they could neither own property nor be named as a beneficiary to a trust.

However, it's important to understand that this longstanding view underwent a fundamental change roughly two decades ago when the Uniform Probate Code officially recognized the legal validity of pet trusts, a move that resulted in many states passing their own pet trust laws.

In fact, 46 states currently recognize the validity of pet trusts, including Florida, which enacted a law to this effect back in 2003.

We will continue to examine this topic in our next post, including taking a closer look at how pet trusts work and how they are treated by the Internal Revenue Service.

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you have questions regarding estate planning, estate administration or other related matters.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Discuss Your Case With An Experienced Attorney

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

1205 N. Meeting Tree Blvd.
Crystal River, FL 34429

Toll Free: 866-697-6221
Phone: 352-436-4333
Crystal River Law Office Map

250 International Parkway
Suite 340
Lake Mary, Florida 32746

Toll Free: 866-697-6221
Phone: 352-436-4333
Map & Directions

Office Location