Those in California who are setting up their affairs for after they die may be considering what will happen with their beloved animal companions. One thing that some people choose to do is to add instructions for the care of their pets in their wills.

Another option that can provide some additional guarantees for the care of a pet is to set up a pet trust. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that a pet trust is a legally sanctioned arrangement that takes effect after the grantor’s death. A pet trust can include one or more animal companions and provides specific instructions for how the animal or animals are to be cared for, and by whom.

Advantages to a pet trust

A pet trust is an effective means to look out for an animal because it can last for the duration of that animal’s lifetime. It provides for very specific instructions, including how often the pet should see the vet, what kind of food it should get and how often it should be taken out to the park. Because a pet trust is legally enforceable, the instructions must be carried out precisely as they are written.

Assuring that the trust can be carried out

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one of the best features of a pet trust is that it can include a sum of money that must be used only for the care of the animal in question. The grantor can specify how the money is to be disbursed. When the pet eventually dies, instructions can also be provided to designate where any remaining funds will go.