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Pet Trust

Indiana Pet Trust

You might be interested in protecting your fury friends and family members after you pass away. This can give you peace of mind that your pets will be protected based on stipulations that you set up in a trust and assets you have used to fund the trust. Much like many other states, Indiana classifies animals as personal property, meaning that you cannot leave assets to personal property after death.

However, there are exceptions in Indiana's pet trusts statute as outlined under Indiana Code 30-4-2-18. This law specifically recognizes those trusts that are established to care for a pet. A trust can be created to care for pets that are alive during a settler's lifetime, in which case this trust would end upon the death of the pet or after the death of a last surviving pet. If you want to know that your family member will be taken care of if something happens to you, a trust ensures that there is no lapse in care for your animal or animals. An Indiana pet trust lawyer can help you draft it.

Who is in Charge of the Pet Trust?

The court can appoint a caretaker or the settler can name one in establishing an Indiana pet trust. It is strongly recommended that a person be appointed to enforce the trust in the event that a caretaker does not comply with provisions within the trust. If the court identifies that the value of the trust exceeds the amount necessary to care for the pet, the remainder can be distributed to settler, if living, or the settler's heirs or beneficiaries.

Property in a trust could only be applied for the intended use of the trust, except in situations in which the court determines that the value of trust property is higher than the amount required for the trust's intended use. While there are some alternatives to a pet trust, it is one of the most popular formats for people to turn to when thinking about how best to protect their interests. In Indiana, for example, Purdue University manages a Peace of Mind Program to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

This helps to provide medical care for pets and find them homes in exchange for a gift to the veterinary school of at least $25,000 per pet. Indiana's pet trust statute can be confusing but it can also be used as a powerful tool to help support your loved after you are no longer around. Speaking with an Indiana pet trust lawyer can help give you the clarification necessary about what is required to establish a pet trust and how one can be used to articulate the best needs for your pet.

You do not want your pet to have to be in the position of being shuttled back and forth between family members or putting your family in the difficult position of figuring out what to do with a pet they are not able or willing to take. Discuss your options with a lawyer.      

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