There are more pets than children in American households, and for many people, old and young alike, pets are as much a part of their family as any human, and sometimes more so. Planning for your companion animals is a vital part of estate planning.

Benefits of Pet Ownership

Studies confirm that there are health and financial benefits to owning a pet. People tend to be healthier when they have a companion.

Indeed, there is now an impressive body of scientific evidence, gathered over the last 30 years, that pets can help a person stay healthy, speed up recovery after major illness, manage blood pressure, protect the heart and blood vessels, deal with stress, improve mood and sense of well-being, lessen feelings of isolation and loneliness, and provide a sense of purpose.

For the elderly especially, a pet can dramatically improve their health. But who will take care of the beloved pet that outlives its owner? What will happen to the pet if its owner must move to a facility that does not allow pets? How can a person provide for the continued care of a pet who has given so much?

Planning for Your Pets

Pets are part of our families. They provide us with loyalty, unconditional love, affection, and companionship.

Pet Trusts Provide an Answer

If you have pets and wish to provide for them after your death, you can now place assets in a legal pet trust for their benefit after you are gone or incapacitated. The law allows anyone to establish a pet trust in their will or living trust for the express care of designated domestic or companion animals. The trust may provide for the care of individually named animals or for a class of animals, so long as the animal is living at the time of your death.

Call the Trust Doctor (W. Bailey Smith) today to create your pet trust at 949-833-8891 or email him at

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