How can I make sure my pet is taken care of after my death?
More than 79 million households across the country have a dog or cat. Our pets are members of the family and ensuring they are provided for after death is a major concern for many pet owners. Pets are considered personal property under the law, and while you can name who gets your pet in your will, you cannot disburse money for the care of your pet or enforce its proper treatment. Instead, pet owners must create a trust that will distribute money to the pet’s named guardian after death the owner’s death or in the event the owner becomes physically unable to care for the pet.
Virginia’s Law on Pet Trusts
Recognizing the importance of providing for pets after death, Virginia passed its pet trust law in 2006. The law, found in VA Code Ann § 64.2-726, allows for pet owners to create a trust to provide for the care of an animal during its lifetime. The trust can be enforced by a person appointed in the trust document or by the court if no one is named. Funds will be used solely as set out in the trust for the care of the animal.