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Setting up a trust for pets in Massachusetts

There are many people who do not believe that they need to set up a comprehensive and effective estate plan. Some people think that because they do not have significant assets or children, there is no need to develop a plan to protect whatever property and assets they do have. However, there are a number of reasons why people should consider establishing a plan for what should be done with their assets after they are gone.

One of the main reasons that people ultimately set up an estate plan is to make sure their assets are distributed to the proper parties. Interestingly, these parties are not always children, spouses or even parents. Across this state, more people are creating a trust for their pets because Massachusetts is just one of the 46 states that have authorized people to create pet trusts.

People with pets generally consider the animal to be a part of their family and have spent years caring for their furry companion. However, when a person dies, his or her pet will likely be taken care of by someone else. By establishing a pet trust, a person can make sure that the animal's welfare will be protected by setting aside money that is specifically reserved for the ongoing care of a pet.

Pet owners understand that the cost of caring for an animal can be significant and they want to make sure their dog, cat, horse, bird or other animal is properly cared for when they are no longer around. An animal cannot inherit money, so setting up a trust will ensure that the pet's needs continue to be met. There are some well-known examples of people leaving significant funds to a pet in the form of a trust. For example, Leona Helmsley famously set up a $12 million trust for her dog.

According to some sources, there are over 72 million households in the country that have a pet. This means that millions of people may want to consider setting up a trust for their beloved companion so that the cost of caring for the pet will not fall in someone else's lap after an owner has passed away.

Source: telegram.com, "Trusts provide safety net for pets," Lisa Eckelbecker, Feb. 10, 2013

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