For some Florida residents, pets are considered a part of the family. As such, it is important for them to be included in long-term and estate plans. After one woman’s divorce, she began to think about what would happen to her beloved pets once she was gone and decided to look into pet trusts. She says that once she had the trust set up, it offered her a sense of relief knowing her animals would be taken care of once she was gone.

The woman created a trust that would ensure the care of her dogs in the event of her death. She planned out who they would go to and how they should be taken care of. The trust was specific enough to dictate what toys and treats they should have, and outlining when they should be taken to the vet.

Although when most people think of pet trusts, they probably think of eccentric millionaires, no one has to be rich or work as an attorney to have one created. With the demand for pet trusts increasing, some have answered the call and now focus solely on these types of trusts. Shelters and veterinary schools have also stepped up and now offer programs where residents could either make yearly donations or pay a fee with the promise of their animal being taken care of in the event of their death.

Pet trusts allow Florida residents to choose who will control the money in the trust (the trustee) and the caregiver for the animals. The trustee will then provide funds to the caregiver to ensure the continued care of their animals. Many people believe a will would be enough to take care of their pet, but since wills can sometimes take lengthy periods of time to process, it may not be in the best interests of pets. Trusts can be more expensive, but since pets are a party of the family, it may be worth looking into.