You’re aging, and you love your pets. While you may well be alive for as long as your puppy or kitten survives, there’s always the chance that you might pass away before he or she does. What happens to your pooch or cat if you can’t take care of him or her anymore? Will someone automatically adopt your pet, or should you take precautions?

One way to move forward is to include a pet trust with your estate plan. A pet trust gives you an opportunity to put aside money for the purpose of caring for your pet when you can no longer do so, whether you’re in a nursing home or have passed away. The trust pays out only for the pet’s expenses and situations that you deem necessary.

Why create a pet trust?

A pet trust does more than just make sure there’s enough money to take care of your precious pet after you can’t any longer. It is a legally sanctioned arrangement that determines who the pet will go to and is responsible for taking care of that pet’s health. A pet trust is enforceable by law, so the person who takes on the pet can’t shirk the responsibility on a whim. This means that your pet is protected, so you can rest easy.

A pet trust protects your pet for life

A pet trust lasts 21 years or the life of your pet in most states. Some kinds of trusts last longer, but in most cases, companion animals like dogs or cats don’t live longer than 21 years. Longer trusts can be beneficial for animals such as horses, tortoises, birds or other animals with long life expectancies.

A pet trust can include more than money

A pet trust is also a good way to make sure your pet has all the assets he or she needs for life. For instance, a horse needs to have a stable, so a stable could be included in the trust. Other assets like food stores, services that have been paid for, and even things like pet furniture or accessories can be included.

These are just a few reasons why a pet trust can be beneficial. Setting one up is easy with the help of a legal professional who can make sure your pet will be taken care of.