Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL

South Florida Pet Trust Attorney

Ensure love, care, and support for your pet with a legal trust

We all love our pets. Whether they’re dogs, cats, birds, fish, or more exotic animals, many Floridians view their pets as members of the family. And, if something should happen, we want to have our pets taken care of like family, too. The Levy Firm PLLC in Fort Lauderdale can help you with that. To secure ongoing love, care, and support for your pet, consider establishing a pet trust as part of your comprehensive estate plan. In the event of incapacitation or death, pet trusts can:

  • Cover cost of a pet's residency, food, and care
  • Designate someone to take care of the pet
  • Provide guidelines for medical and daily care
  • Ensure your pet’s overall well-being and happiness

Pet trusts can provide you with peace of mind, but setting up this type of financial arrangement can be complex. If not executed properly, the trust could be challenged and invalidated. The Levy Firm PLLC specializes in unassailable, customized estate plans that meet our clients’ specific needs and goals. Contact us for a free consultation with pet trust attorney Geoff Levy to learn more about how to safeguard your pet’s future care and comfort.

Elements of a Florida pet trust

Pet trusts are a form of revocable living trust. They are private, express trusts authorized for 21 years or the life of the animal(s). While the specific terms and conditions of a Florida pet trust document can vary, common elements include:

  • Designated Trustee, Caregiver, Guardian, Co-guardian, Back-up Guardian.
  • Specific Pet Identification. Providing detailed information about the pet, including its name, breed, and any distinctive markings, to avoid confusion.
  • Outline Responsibilities. A list of duties and responsibilities of the trustee, who manages and distributes funds for the care of the pet.
  • Pet Care Instructions. Including dietary needs, veterinary care, grooming, and living arrangements for the pet.
  • Contingency Plans. Addressing what happens if the designated caregiver or trustee is unable or unwilling to fulfill their role.
  • Regular Reviews. Stipulating whether and how the trust will be periodically reviewed and adjusted to reflect changing circumstances.
  • List of Authorized Expenses. Defining permissible expenses that the trustee can cover for the pet's care, ensuring clarity on the use of trust funds.
  • Mediation/Dispute Resolution. Outlining mechanisms for resolving potential disputes among beneficiaries, caregivers, or other involved parties.
  • Compensation. Pet trust assets may be used to reasonably compensate the trust’s administrator, custodian, and/or caretaker.

Once the pet named in the trust dies, any remaining assets in the trust will be distributed according to the trust’s terms or the grantor’s heirs.

Ensure your pet’s care even if you’re not there

Depending on terms and conditions, assets in a pet trust could be open to federal taxation. It's important to consult with a legal professional to customize a pet trust document according to your preferences and ensure compliance with Florida and federal laws.

Fort Lauderdale estate planning attorney Geoff Levy has more than 10 years of experience providing legal services throughout South Florida, including the establishment of steadfast pet trusts. If you have a beloved pet that you want cared for under any circumstance, contact The Levy Firm PLLC for a free consultation. Geoff can answer your questions and explain options for providing the best care for your pet. Contact us today.

Free Consultation. Contact Us Today.
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Free Consultation. Contact Us Today.

If protecting your legacy and the financial security of your loved ones is a concern of yours, it’s a concern of ours. Let’s talk. Our law firm provides legal services in English and Spanish. Free consultations for new clients.

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