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Palm Springs Pet Trusts Attorney

Palm Springs Pet Trusts Attorney

What will happen to your pets after you pass away? Who will protect, feed, and love your pets if you are incapacitated? Creating a pet trust is one of the best ways to protect your pets after you're gone. When you create a pet trust, you control the type of care your pet will receive. You can appoint someone you trust to care for your pet and establish legally enforceable requirements for your pet’s care.

Protect Your Pet By Consulting With a Pet Trust Lawyer Today

As a dog owner himself, attorney Christopher Heritage understands how important our pets are to us. He has helped many Palm Springs residents set up pet trusts to protect their pets after they pass away. With an in-depth understanding of California's pet trust laws, he will work with you to create a legally enforceable pet trust. You will be able to rest easier knowing that your pet will have high-quality and loving care after you’re gone. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation.

The Benefits of Creating a Pet Trust in California

You may be wondering whether you need a pet rest or whether you can simply trust that your loved ones will take care of your pets on their own after you're gone. Many benefits come with creating a pet trust. First, you won't have to hope that your loved ones take care of your pets the way you would. Instead, you'll be able to ensure that your pet receives the type of care you desire and pay for that care.

Trustees must follow the terms of the trust agreement, and they cannot use the assets in the trust for their personal gain. They must use them to care for and protect your pet. You can also set up your pet trust so that it will go into effect when you become incapacitated, allowing a trusted friend or family member to begin caring for your pet.

Setting Up a Testamentary Pet Trust

California recognizes two main types of pet trusts: testamentary pet trusts and statutory pet trusts. Testamentary trusts are those that come into effect after the pet owner’s death. You will need to work with an experienced Palm Springs estate planning lawyer who will help you create a will. In your will, you can include language that will create a pet trust after you pass away. The testamentary pet trust should consist of details about your pet’s care, including:

  • Your pet’s likes and dislikes
  • Your pet’s routines
  • Your pet’s medical history
  • Kennel care
  • Housing
  • Your pet’s veterinarian
  • End-of-life decisions
  • Food and nourishment

You should also include any other details that will help your pet’s future caregiver provide your pet with the quality of life you provided during your lifetime. You will need to appoint a trustee in your testamentary trust. The trustee will use assets from the trust to pay for your pet’s expenses as long as your pet is alive. In your testamentary trust, you’ll need to set forth how much the trustee will be paid for taking care of your pet. You can also state what you’d like to happen to your estate assets after your pet passes away.

Setting Up a Statutory Pet Trust in California

The second type of pet trust is called a statutory pet trust. You will create a statutory pet trust during your lifetime with the help of a California estate planning lawyer. These types of trusts are called statutory pet trusts because statutes in the California Probate Code govern their creation and enforcement. California legislators passed a law allowing pet owners to create a specific type of pet trust.

In a statutory pet trust, your lawyer will draft a trust agreement that will include all of the terms of your arrangement. The trust will not be written into your will, as with a testamentary pet trust. Instead, the trust will operate outside of California’s probate system. One of the key benefits of creating a statutory pet trust is that it allows the trustee to bypass a lengthy and expensive probate process. Instead, when you pass away, the trustee will be able to take possession of your pet and trust assets for your pet immediately.

What If The Trustee Doesn’t Take Care of My Pet?

California pet trust statute requires the trustee to honor all of the terms of the trust agreement. The law also gives third parties the right to bring court proceedings against the trustee. Suppose one of your loved ones discovers that your dog is malnourished after you pass away. A friend or family member has a right to bring a legal claim against the trustee for failure to maintain your pet’s health according to the trust agreement.

The court has the authority to name a new trustee to care for your pet if the current trustee breaches his or her fiduciary duties. California probate code also gives the court the authority to make any order necessary to carry out your intent as the trust creator. In most cases, a pet owner who creates a statutory pet trust will name himself or herself as the trustee. They will designate someone else to be the successor trustee upon their death.

As with a testamentary trust, you will need to include detailed information in the trust agreement about your pet’s likes and dislikes. You'll need to set forth the obligations and duties that your trustee must follow. Creating a statutory pet trust gives you significant control over what your pet's life will look like and allows you to ensure your pet receives high-quality care according to your wishes after your death.

Contact a Palm Springs Pet Trust Lawyer Today

The majority of families in the United States own one or more pets. Many of us consider our pets to be a part of our families. Creating a pet trust is one of the most effective ways to protect your pets and ensure their happiness after you're gone. Attorney Christopher Heritage of Heritage Legal, PC can help you create a pet trust that meets your unique goals and needs. Contact Heritage Legal, PC, today to schedule your initial consultation.


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