Not all that long ago, an attorney would have given you a weird look if you had asked about creating a "pet trust" or otherwise including your pets in your estate plan. But now, if you don't bring it up, your lawyer is likely to. A good number of people who go to lawyers about Wills and Trusts want to make sure that if their animals outlive them, they will be taken care of.

It's a reasonable concern. Many animals end up being surrendered to shelters after their owners die, and many of them do not find new homes. Usually, family members want to ensure a better outcome for the animals, but simply may not be able to take care of them or find a suitable home. Especially if the pet is older or ill. And the wave of foreclosures in recent years has meant that many families formerly in their own homes are now in rentals, many of which don't allow animals.

Luckily, with some planning, you can provide for your pets, and make sure that they'll always have a home. Washington and Idaho both recognize trusts for pets, in which you can leave money to be used for the care of your pets. In addition to leaving your pets to a specific person, you can also put someone in charge of managing and spending the money in the trust, following a written set of instructions that you provide.

If you have questions about trusts for your pets, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to find out how we can help.