Can I Create a Pet Trust in Pennsylvania? | What to Know

Friedman Schuman recognizes that a pet can be considered a family member. Fortunately, the state of Pennsylvania permits individuals to add a pet trust to an estate plan. To learn more reach out to our skilled Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys and continue reading.

What is the purpose of a pet trust in Pennsylvania?

It is imperative to understand the purpose of a trust before going through the process of obtaining a pet trust. A trust is an agreement that allows a trustee to become responsible for the assets within it until the beneficiary inherits them. A trustor refers to the individual who creates a trust. The person who inherits the assets within the trust is known as a beneficiary. A trustee is a third party that controls the trust on behalf of the beneficiary.

In Pennsylvania, a pet trust can be used to allocate funds and any wishes on behalf of a pet. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. A pet trust can be created through a will, as a part of a revocable living trust, or a stand-alone trust. You will need to understand that if you choose to build a trust on behalf of your pet, the writing must be specific concerning the pet’s health care, veterinarians, burial, and how funds should be allocated when the pet eventually passes away.

To learn more about pet trusts in Pennsylvania, reach out to our skilled estate planning attorneys.

How do I begin the creation of a pet trust?

To start the process of creating a pet trust, you will first need to choose a trustee. In most cases, it is more beneficial to select a trustee that is different from the person that has custodial liability for the pet. This permits the trustee to handle the finances while the other person can serve as the guardian of the pet. When doing this, you will want to make sure that your choices are made with your pet’s best interest in mind.

After you have picked the guardian and trustee, you will need to make them aware of their responsibilities. Once the appointed individuals affirm their duties, an official document can be drafted with an inter vivos trust or testamentary trust. Essentially, the use of this document provides an individual with the ability to plan out the care they want their pets to receive. With this, an individual can allocate enough funds for the rest of the pet’s life. Furthermore, an individual may want to select other trustees or guardians in an abundance of caution. By retaining the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, you will be able to feel comfortable knowing your pet is in good hands when you are gone. Reach out to our firm today.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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