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In Florida, can a Trust be established to care for a person’s pets?

| Oct 10, 2014 | Probate |

In Florida, Section 736.0408 Fla. Stat. provides that a Trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal. Most estate lawyers call this type of Trust a “Pet Trust.” 

A Pet Trust must be established during the settlor’s lifetime and it terminates on the death of the animal or, if the Pet Trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime, on the death of the last surviving animal.

A Pet Trust may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the Trust or, if no person is appointed, by a person appointed by the court. A person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the Trust or to remove a person appointed.

Property of a Pet Trust may be applied only to the intended use of the property, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the Trust, property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if then living, otherwise as part of the settlor’s estate.

For animal lovers, pets are often like part of the family. Setting up provisions for the care and needs of a pet can be important to an owner’s peace of mind in knowing that their beloved pet is taken care of.

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