This article was published in the Elder's Advisor, Marquette University Law School, Vol. 9, No. 1 at 155, 2007 (reprinted with permission).
From the article:
As discussed in Section II of this article, until recently pet owners encountered many legal barriers when trying to provide care for their pets after the owner’s inability to care for their pets. Fortunately, recent statutory developments in most states have removed those obstacles.
Pet owners can now create legally recognized and enforceable instruments that provide care for their pets in the event of the owner’s disability or death. Section III explains how estate planning practitioners can guide their clients in the creation and us of pet trusts and pet protection agreements, and draft wills with enforceable provisions concerning the care of animal companions.
Section IV alerts practitioners to specific considerations when drafting pet trusts. Section V addresses how a pet trust is taxed. The article concludes with some observations about the important role that pet trusts and pet protection agreements can play in helping elderly or disabled owners and their pets remain together, ensuring that the pets are well cared for, and establishing procedures for legally transitioning pet ownership.