Many families around the world have a canine, feline or other type of animal companion that’s in their lives. While there’s no biological relation, they’re often treated like family. When it comes to family, you always want to leave them protected. Through a comprehensive estate plan, you can protect your family and assure your assets are distributed to the right people. Did you know though, that through a pet trust, you can protect your pets too?

What’s a Pet Trust?

A pet trust allows assets from an estate to be allocated for the purpose of protecting a pet. When someone in the State of Michigan passes away, the assets within the estate are distributed in accordance with the decedent’s will (if existent) or the State’s laws of intestacy. While the laws of intestacy do not acknowledge pets as a priority in asset distribution, you can put one together.

How do I set it up?

Setting up a pet trust can be done when putting together the estate plan. The pet trust can pair with an individual’s last will and testament, which will give the probate court direction as to how the assets are to be distributed to the pet. Remember: having an estate plan – as well as trusts – can only help you and your family evade the dilemmas associated with probate court. Of course, putting together an estate plan – let alone, a pet trust – can be tricky to do on your own. That’s why we recommend that you work with an estate planning attorney, so that the attorney can cover everything necessary to assure that your assets in the trust are going to be taken care of.

Why should I set one up?

Simply put, you don’t know what can happen. While we would like to think that we can just have our pets be taken care of by our surviving spouse, children, other family or friends, the fact of the matter is that once the pet is out of your hands, there’s no surefire way to guarantee that the pet will be taken care of. Having a pet trust though will mandate the care necessary to protect the pet.

For more information regarding pet trusts in Michigan, visit here to view the legislature regarding pet trusts, as well as learn what pets are protected. If you need to set up a pet trust, we can help. The Probate Pro has been helping thousands of clients with estate plans, some who have needed a pet trust to be established and integrated into the estate plan. Give us a call today at (833)-PROBATE, and we’ll be glad to help you.