Corgi-elder couplePets are an important part of many people’s lives, but many of us never stop to think about what will happen to Fifi or Fido when we pass away. Luckily, in Michigan, you can create a Pet Trust to ensure that your beloved pet is well cared for after your passing.

Pursuant to MCL 700.2722(2), a trust for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal is a valid trust in this state. The trust will terminate when pet is no longer living, or after the passage of 21 years, whichever occurs first. A trust created for a pet or domestic animal is to be liberally construed so as to ensure that the pet remains well cared for. A Pet Trust generally includes:

  1. A named trustee (the person who will handle the financial aspect of the pet’s care);
  2. A named caregiver (the person who will ensure the pet’s day-to-day needs are met);
  3. A list of instructions for caring for the pet, such as which vet the pet should be taken to, any medications that are to be given to the pet, and what to do with the pet upon its passing; and
  4. A specific monetary devise which should be enough to cover the expenses associated with caring for the pet for the remainder of its life.

One of the biggest benefits of Pet Trusts is that they can be written to come into effect prior to your own passing. In the even that you become incapacitated in some way, rendering you incapable of caring for your pet, the trust would immediately be effective and your trustee and caregiver could ensure that the needs of your pet are met from that moment on.

If you have questions about how a Pet Trust could be used in your estate plan, or would like to explore other options available for ensuring that both your pets and your family members are protected after your passing, reach out to the knowledgeable staff of Barberi Law today!

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