The late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was known not just for his creative genius, but also for the love he had for his cat, “Choupette.” In an April 2018 interview, Lagerfeld stated he wanted to be cremated, rather than have a burial. He also stated that his ashes should be dispersed with those of his mother and his beloved Choupette, if the cat passed on before he did. And, while it is not clear what accommodations he made for Choupette, his death does bring up the important fact that sometimes a pet owner passes on before his or her pet does.
Many pet owners in New Jersey view their pet as a member of the family, so it makes sense to address their pet’s needs in their estate plan. One option some people choose is to execute a pet trust. Pet trusts can address who will care for a pet and how the pet will be cared for.
A trustee will be appointed to manage the trust funds, and a caretaker will be assigned to care for the pet. Sometimes, the trustee and caretaker are the same person, but they do not have to be.
A person often lavishes love and attention on their pets, so it is only natural that, in the event the pet owner dies, they want to ensure their pets are well cared for. This involves not only feeding the pet and taking it to the vet, but also earmarking financial resources needed to properly care for the pet.
Some people choose to meet these responsibilities through the execution of a pet trust. Pet trusts are legal documents, however, so those interested in learning more about them may want to seek professional guidance, to determine if pet trusts are the right choice for them and their furry friend.