Lifetime planning for you and your family

Call For A Free Initial Consultation.

It Is Never Too Late There is something
you can do.

Comparing a Trust for a Person to a Pet Trust

This edition of the Koldin Law Center E-Newsletter is part of a series about frequently asked questions comparing legal documents, legal roles, and government benefits.

All prior newsletters are saved on our website. You can read them by clicking here.

We receive many questions from clients and readers of our newsletter asking about the differences between various legal documents, legal roles, and government benefits. In this newsletter we compare a Trust for a Person to a Pet Trust.

Trust for a Person

In the previous newsletters we reviewed many different types of Trusts that can be set up to hold assets for people. We discussed different reasons why you might want to leave someone’s inheritance in a Trust. Some examples of Trusts we discussed were: Trust for Benefit of a Minor, Discretionary Trust, Supplemental Needs Trust, Income for Life Trust, and Dynasty Trust.

Trust for a Pet

If you have a pet that close family members love and promise to adopt, you already have a sense of security that your pet will be well taken care of after your death.

However, if you are relying on friends or family members who are not already close to your pet, a Pet Trust is something that you may want to consider as part of your estate planning.

Estate planning for your pet(s) has 3 parts:

  1. Appoint someone to adopt or care for your pet
  2. Set aside funds to cover your pet’s expenses
  3. Appoint someone (Trustee) to manage and distribute the funds as needed for your pet

Appoint Someone to Adopt or Care for Your Pet

In New York, a pet is considered personal property. Your Will can specify who is to inherit your pet. You should ask the person ahead of time if he/she is willing to assume ownership and care for your pet.

You should also designate alternate owners for your pet in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to care for your pet at the time of your death.

You can also designate a person to be in charge of finding someone to adopt your pet if you don’t have someone to designate at the time you sign your Will.

Set Aside Funds to Cover Your Pet’s Expenses

You can set aside funds to be used solely to take care of your pet. You can either leave funds outright to the new pet owner and hope that he/she uses the funds for your pet or you can leave the funds into a Trust for the benefit of your pet.

You can leave a specific account or dollar amount for the benefit of your pet. You can also designate a Pet Trust to be a beneficiary of your life insurance.

New York State Pet Trust Law

New York State enacted legislation in 1996 which permits you to provide for your pets after your death. Under this law, you can set aside funds to be held in a Trust to maintain the health, welfare and comfort of your pets.

With a Pet Trust, you decide the amount of funds you want to set aside and designate someone (Trustee) to manage the funds and provide for your pets pursuant to the requirements you set forth in the Trust.

The Trustee cannot use the funds for any purpose other than to care for your pets.

The Trust ends of the death of your pet(s). You designate under the terms of the Trust who inherits the remaining balance of your Pet Trust at the time of termination.

A Pet Trust can be written as part of your Last Will and Testament or as part of the beneficiary provisions of your own Revocable or Irrevocable Living Trust.

You can even set up a “Living Trust” while you are alive for the benefit of your Pet(s) so that it is operational before your death.

Probate Gap in Funding

If you provide for your pet in your Will, it might take many months before the funds become available to be used for your pet because Wills need to go through the probate process.

On the other hand, if you provide for your pet as part of the beneficiary clause of your Revocable or Irrevocable Living Trust, the funds become available immediately for your pet at the time of your death.

The Koldin Law Center, P.C. has prepared Pet Trusts for many clients. We have prepared these Pet Trusts for dogs, cats, horses, and birds. We are available to meet with you to discuss your options. There is no fee for the initial consultation.

For more information about Beneficiary Trusts, please see our website by clicking here.

At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., located in East Syracuse, New York, we have over 50 years of experience helping individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care.

The Koldin Law Center, P.C. limits its practice to the specific field of Elder Law which includes estate planning and Medicaid law.

Our attorneys are available to discuss your estate planning options, including the advantages and disadvantages of Revocable Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts, along with other estate planning considerations including a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy.

When the Koldin Law Center, P.C. handles a Medicaid case, we not only handle the entire application process, but we also review asset protection options with our clients. We review with our clients who are already in a Nursing Home options to protect some or all of their assets beyond merely establishing Medicaid eligibility.

We do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. We welcome your children, family attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner to be present at the initial consultation.

There is something you can do.

Our Attorneys are available to speak to your organization

Our Attorneys speak to groups throughout New York State as a public service. If you would like to arrange for one of our Attorneys to speak to your group, please contact our office.

We appreciate your referrals

We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.

We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.

We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.

Your referral to the Koldin Law Center could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.

Remember that the Koldin Law Center offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.


E - Newsletter

Practice Areas

Basic Estate Planning

Trust Planning

Medicaid Planning And MedicaidApplications

Planning For Individuals With Disabilities

Probate And EstateAdministration