Are pet trusts a real thing? | Estate Planning Daily 027

Hey everybody. What’s going on? Christopher Small here from CMS Law Firm, and I’m back with another Facebook Live, answering your frequently asked questions, talking about things that we’re talking about here at the firm. Remember, we do estate planning, we do probate, and we do it really, really well.

If you ever want to talk about estate planning, your own, someone else’s, I don’t know, you have a question, you can click the link below, We talk for free. It’s a part of the service. I see it the way I see it, to talk to you and answer questions, help you if I can help you, and if I can’t, then that’s okay too.

In any event, today I wanted to talk a little bit about pet trusts. I haven’t talked about them in quite some time, and I had a potential client meeting today where we talked about them. I thought, “You know what? What better place to come and sort of let everybody know about pet trusts than right here on the good old Facebook?” We’re going to talk about them real quick.

The bottom line … I think we all kind of understand what a pet trust is. You get a pet, and they’re a good pet … I have a dog, a lab. His name is Piper. It’s a boy dog but a girl name. You can blame my wife for that. She said, “I want a girl dog, and I want the smallest lab in the group.” We went to the place, and she picked out the biggest lab. She picked out the boy, and she named him Piper. Sorry, Piper.

But in any event, we love Piper. If anything ever happened to Piper, we would want somebody to take care of him and we would want somebody to have enough money to be able to take care of him right.

The way that you can do that and be sure of that, and actually provide some sort of financial oversight in a way, is to create a pet trust, or within your actual revocable living trust, carve out some provisions for your pets, which is what we usually do. We can make a trust straight up for pets if you really want to, but typically that doesn’t happen. Typically, we just carve out some language inside of the trust to create a little something something for the pets.

The first thing to know, it is completely legal and completely valid. In fact, it is a … Washington statutes allow for pet trusts. There’s a whole section on them. It’s RCW 11.118. It’s all about pet trusts. I just looked it up before I got on here. You can really do it. You can name your trustee. They have to keep an accounting of all the money. Basically, they are there to sort of take care of your pets. You can leave a certain sum of money that’s there just for your pets to use. When your pets die, you can give it away to somebody else, your local animal shelter or something, if you really want to.

Just know if you have pets and you really want to ensure that they’re taken care of, you really, really want to ensure that they’re taken care of, a pet trust is the way to go.

A lot of people will just make an agreement with their friends or with their family that they’re going to take the pets and then leave the people a little bit of money. That’s another way to do it, particularly if you trust your people. Then they just got that cash that you’ve given them outright as a gift to use for the animals. The problem is if they don’t want to use that money on the animals, then they’re not really obligated to. There’s nothing that’s going to … No one’s going to force them to do that. If you really want to lock something in, then the pet trust is the way to go.

That’s it. Simple. Pretty simple to do. We do them all the time.

If you need help or want to talk more about pet trusts or wills, power of attorney, revocable living trusts, A-B trusts, life insurance trusts, IRA trusts, whatever you want, estate taxes, we talk about it all here. Just click that button below,, and book a time to talk to me. I’d love to hear what you have to say, hear your story, hear about your family, and what you got going on, and show you how you can meet your estate planning goals.

Alright. That is it. As always, if you liked this video, if it helped you, if you thought it was entertaining, if you feel bad for me and you want to just make me feel better, hit the like button, okay? That’d be cool. I need all the positive reinforcement that I can get here. If you know somebody that could use this information, has been wondering about pet trusts and has questions about pet trusts, then share it with them. Type their name in the comment, and they’ll get a notice that you’ve whatever you’ve done, poked them. Not poke, but whatever it is, sort of notified them of this stuff, and they’ll come and watch it. That’d be great.

Otherwise, thank you for your time. As always, if you have probate or estate planning needs, please come give us a call. 206-659-1512. Last plug. That’s it. As always, just trying to give you guys a lot of value, trying to give you something to think about, and hopefully help you and your family protect yourselves, protect your legacy, protect everyone else, protect your pets.

That’s it. Have a great day. Have a great night. I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. See you.