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This Week's Project: Protecting Your Pet's Future With a Pet Trust

We've recently discussed ways to care for and protect your pets, as well as some methods to cut the costs of pet ownership. Did you realize that you can provide for your pets to be cared for if you are incapacitated or pass away? By creating a pet trust you can ensure that you're beloved dog, cat, bird or any other pet, is provided for in the manner you feel is best.

We love our pets. In fact, American's spend billions of dollars each year to ensure that their furry friends are taken care of. The American Pet Products Association estimates that in the year 2010, Americans spent over $18 billion on pet food, over $11 billion on medications and supplies and more than $12 billion on veterinary care. So, with all we do for our pets, it makes sense that we would want to make certain they were kept safe and well if we were no longer capable of providing their care.

Merely leaving a statement or a provision in your will to direct a caregiver and funds for your pet's maintenance is not sufficient. With this method, the designated caregiver can easily discard the pet and keep the funds for themselves. However, a pet trust provides essential checks and balances to ensure that your pet receives proper care and that any funds left to provide for your pet are used according to your wishes.

When you create a pet trust, you designate a primary caregiver as well as one or more backup caregivers. You can build specific instructions regarding your pets care into the trust, such as: veterinary care, grooming, feeding, diet, exercise, the disposition of your pet's remains and any other stipulations that are important to you. The caregiver is then required to follow the specific instructions for the care of your beloved pet.

Your pet trust will also have a designated trustee and backup trustees. The trustee is responsible for ensuring that the funds appropriated for the pet are, indeed, used for the care of the pet. They also make certain that the caregiver is performing their duties appropriately.

With a pet trust, you can rest assured that your beloved pet will be cared for in the way that you prefer, instead of the uncertain future that faces most pets after their owner is incapacitated or passes away. Many of these pets end up in pounds or are euthanized. Make certain that your furry friends stay healthy and happy even after you're no longer able to care for them.

For more information on pet trusts, contact MH at 888.222.1328.

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