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Protecting Your Pet’s Future with an Estate Plan—Part 1

How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Take Care of Your Pet Beneficiary

We all want the best for our beloved pets, but have you considered what happens to them if something unexpected happens to you? Enter the world of estate planning for pet beneficiaries. In this guide, we’ll explore how an estate planning attorney can be your pet’s guardian angel, ensuring they receive the love, care, and provisions they deserve even when you can no longer provide it yourself. Let’s dive into an estate plan’s vital role in securing your pet’s future.

Understanding Estate Planning for Pets

What is Estate Planning for Pets?

Estate planning isn’t just about distributing your assets; it also involves ensuring the well-being of your loved ones, including your pets.

According to 2023 research by the American Pet Products Association:

  • 66% of U.S. households own a pet, or a total of 86.9M households;
  • Pet owners spent $147B on their pets;
  • Expenditures are predicted to hit $150.6B in 2024.

Yet, only a tiny fraction have plans for their pet’s future care in case of incapacity or death. LegalZoom reveals that “given the significant bond pet owners feel toward their pets, this type of trust is an invaluable way to provide your pet with protection.”

Pets and Estate Planning

How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

The Role of a Florida Estate Planning Attorney

Florida estate planning attorneys, specialize in crafting a comprehensive plan tailored to your needs, including provisions for your pet beneficiaries.

According to LegalZoom, the following states have adopted some version of the Uniform Probate Code’s law on animal trusts:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Utah
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

According to the 2023 Florida Statutes Title XLII of the ESTATES AND TRUSTS section and Chapter 736 of the FLORIDA TRUST CODE outlines portion 736.0408 Trust for care of an animal.

(1) A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime. The trust terminates on the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime, on the death of the last surviving animal.

(2) A trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is appointed, by a person appointed by the court. A person interested in the animal’s welfare may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or remove a person appointed.

(3) Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to the intended use of the property, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the trust, property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if living, otherwise as part of the settlor’s estate.

An estate planning attorney can guide you through setting up a legally recognized pet trust to provide for your pet’s care and needs.

Stay Tuned for Part 2: Why Include Pets in Your Estate Plan

Pet owners choose to include their beloved pets in their estate plans for various emotional, practical, and financial reasons. In the next chapter, we cover a wealth of information, such as the primary reasons pet owners choose an estate plan for their pets and the four most important steps you should take to reserve rights that protect your pet’s future.

Are you prepared to protect your pet’s future?

For personalized guidance and a free case review from an experienced Dishowitz estate planning attorney at Dishowitz Law, contact us today at 1 (833) 918-3310, email, or visit