Pets can become an integral part of our families. Millions of Americans treat these animals like their own children, pampering them and providing them with the utmost care. While humans have a longer life expectancy than most pets, oftentimes owners pass away before their beloved pets. So, in these circumstances, who is left to care for the deceased individual’s animal?
This can be a scary consideration for those who would want their pets to be properly cared for in their absence. This is why the utilization of a pet trust may prove beneficial. This estate planning tool places assets into a trust to be managed by a trustee. A custodian is often named for the pet, too, and assets from the trust are distributed to the custodian for the benefit of the pet. Although this may sound like a strange setup to some, to others it provides a viable way to ensure their favorite pets are cared for as desired far into the future.
Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld may have utilized one of these trusts to care for his beloved cat, Choupette. Lagerfeld, who passed away at the age of 85, had a strong relationship with his cat to the point that Choupette developed her own sense of fame. The famous feline even has her own Instagram account and a coffee table book. Considering the lavishness with which Lagerfeld the cat to live, it is quite possible that a pet trust was established to ensure that Choupette could enjoy a comparable lifestyle after Lagerfeld’s passing.
While pet trusts aren’t for everyone, they can provide peace of mind to those who are concerned about what will happen to their pets after their passing. Pet trusts also show just how customizable the estate planning process can be. Those who would like guidance in creating or modifying their estate plan should consider reaching out to a legal professional who can help them navigate their many options.