Pet Trusts

McHenry County & Crystal Lake



The wishes of a pet owner for the care of their pets after the pet owner's death were not legally enforceable until an important new law was passed in Illinois in 2007. It allows for persons to leave funds to a trust to care for their beloved pets and to appoint a caretaker and/or trustee to care for the pets and the assets of the trust. In the past, and Pet Trust information in an estate planning document was not enforceable. The new law is an important development for pet owners.

As with any other trust, there is a good deal of flexibility in creating a Pet Trust. You have the option to appoint someone to care for your pets and to manage the funds set aside to help cover the costs of maintaining the pets in the style and comfort that they have become accustomed to in your loving care. It is possible to designate how the funds will be used, whether they are to cover some of the daily living expenses such as food, training, boarding, or other expenses or perhaps just for medical care.

It is also possible to name a successor caretaker and/or successor trustee in the event that your first choice is unable or unwilling to assume the responsibilities.

The Pet Trust may set aside a percentage of your estate or a specified dollar amount for the care of your pets.

The Pet Trust may provide for the use of trust assets once your pets are deceased.

If your pet is elderly and you do not think that it would manage such a transition, the Pet Trust may also contain provisions for euthanasia, burial instructions and cremation

Pet Trust provisions can be economically added to an existing Will or Trust by preparing a Codicil to the Will or adding an Amendment to the Trust. A Pet Trust may also be placed in a new estate planning document such as a Will or Trust.

For those of us who love our pets, making sure that they are well cared for after we are gone is a very important consideration.

If you would like to discuss what a Pet Trust could do for and your pets with an estate planning attorney, you can do so at no charge for up to 30 minutes of time. If you would like to discuss your entire estate planning situation, there is no charge for whatever amount of time it takes to cover your particular situation.