Pets are a huge part of many families. They are there to snuggle you, greet you every day when you come home, and share so many of life’s best memories with you.
For most people, planning what happens to your loved ones, including pets, is a big contributor to sound peace of mind. In the past, probate and trust laws did not allow pet owners to provide for the care of their pets after death, however, in 1990, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws enacted the first pet trust statute in the Uniform Probate Code. Fortunately, the State of Iowa is one of the majority of states that have adopted a law on animal trusts, most often referred to as “pet trusts.” It reads as follows:
633A.2105 Honorary trusts — trusts for pets.
- A trust for a lawful noncharitable purpose for which there is no definite or definitely ascertainable beneficiary is valid but may be performed by the trustee for only twenty-one years, whether or not the terms of the trust contemplate a longer duration.
- A trust for the care of an animal living at the settlor’s death is valid. The trust terminates when no living animal is covered by its terms.
- A portion of the property of a trust authorized by this section shall not be converted to any use other than its intended use unless the terms of the trust so provide or the court determines that the value of the trust property substantially exceeds the amount required.
- The intended use of a trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person designated for that purpose in the terms of the trust or, if none, by a person appointed by the court
Pet trusts include the following elements:
- Selecting a caregiver to attend to the daily needs of your pet.
- It is recommended to name a second caregiver, in case the first can’t adequately care for the pet or decides not to do so.
- You can include instructions for day-to-day needs as well as overall healthcare. You can be as general or as specific as you’d like.
- You can set aside monetary distributions, on the condition that it is used for your pet’s needs.
- The monetary distributions may include a reward/stipend for fulfilling the caregiver role.
Let’s talk about your furry friends and how we can ensure they are provided for in case something happens to you. Give me a call at 515-371-6077 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.