There are many stories about how pets outlive their owners. In some cases, family members step up to take care of the pets. In other cases, the pet's life after their owner dies isn't at all pleasant. If you want to make sure that your pet is cared for after you pass away, you should consider some options for providing for your pet through your estate plan.
How can I make sure my pet is taken care of when I die?
You can establish a pet trust that will provide care measures for your pet when you die. The Texas Property Code allows pet owners to establish a pet trust for their pets. A pet trust is valid while you are alive, so your pet would be taken care of if you are unable to do so on your own. It also continues after you die.
How long does a pet trust last?
Texas law allows a pet trust to remain in effect until all pets covered by the trust die. This means your pet will always be taken care of. You can even include specific instructions about your pet's care in the trust instrument to ensure that the care your pet receives is what you would want for your pet.
It is vital that you ensure your pet trust is set up in a manner that is legally valid. This is the only way that you can ensure that your pet will continue to get the care he or she is accustomed to from the day you can't care for the pet until the day your pet dies.
Source: American Bar Association, "Estate Planning Issues Involving Pets," Rachel Hirschfeld, accessed July 15, 2015