THE FLORIDA PET TRUST

Many people in Florida, especially Naples, have great estate plans to provide for their loved ones, but many times, pets, such as our beloved dogs and cats, are not thought of during the process.

Interestingly, Florida Statutes recognize the need to care for our furry children as described below and have a statute that addresses this situation. Pet Trusts essentially are Living Trusts a/k/a Revocable Trusts and can be a wonderful way to ensure that your furry family members are taken care of in the event of your passing.

736.0408 TRUST FOR CARE OF AN ANIMAL

(1) A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime. The trust terminates on the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime, on the death of the last surviving animal.

(2) A trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is appointed, by a person appointed by the court. A person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or to remove a person appointed.

(3) Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to the intended use of the property, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the trust, property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if then living, otherwise as part of the settlor’s estate.

CARING FOR YOUR PET

Careful consideration should be taken to determine the amount to be funded into the trust. Account for the life-span of your pet and simple things such as grooming and dog food might be forgotten. You will be able to set the provisions for the care of your pet. You can leave detailed instructions for how you would like your pet to be taken care of, giving you the peace of mind you need.