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Protect Your Pets After You’re Gone

You’d never go a day without feeding your cat or leave on vacation without making arrangements for your dog. But have you ever thought about the fate of your beloved pets if something unexpected were to happen to you?

Thankfully, nearly all states recognize pet trusts as a valid part of your estate plan. In the event of your death or disability, you can provide for your pets by establishing a pet trust – an increasingly popular way to ensure the long-term health and happiness of your faithful companions. (Check with your estate planning attorney for the options available in your state.)

When you create such a trust, you’ll name someone as the physical caregiver, as well as someone to manage the trust’s money. At the end of your pet’s life, the trust will terminate and the balance of the trust funds can be distributed to your loved ones or a favorite charitable organization, such as Shriners Hospitals for Children®.

Protect Your Pets After You’re Gone

Elements of a Pet Trust

Consider the following elements when putting your pet trust together:

  1. Identification. Identify the pets you would like cared for after your lifetime, but make sure your estate planning attorney adds some flexibility into your document. You should also include pets that you may adopt after the trust is created.
  2. Standard of care. Decide what level of care you want to provide for your pet. Does that mean hiring a full-time caregiver or leaving your pets with a relative? Be as specific as possible by including information about food (what brands, how much and how often), housing, grooming, exercise (how often and how long) and medical care. Burial wishes and veterinary information should also be listed to make your caregiver’s job easier.
  3. Funding. Determine the amount of money you’ll leave behind by estimating the annual cost of care for the rest of your pet’s anticipated lifetime. Avoid funding the trust with excessive amounts as some courts—and loved ones—may object.
  4. Caregiver. Select your pet’s caregiver and get their agreement ahead of time. If you have more than one pet, would you want them to go to separate caregivers or the same one? You’ll also want to name a backup caregiver in case your pet outlives the original caregiver. Stay in touch with the caregivers in case circumstances change.
  5. Trustee. Name a trustee who will oversee the money and make ongoing distributions to the caregiver. The trustee should also make regular inspections of your pet. A caregiver and trustee can be the same person. You’ll also need a backup trustee.
  6. Final beneficiary. Choose a final beneficiary to receive any remaining trust funds after your pet has passed. This is often left with loved ones and/or charitable causes, such as Shriners Hospitals.
Protect Your Pets After You’re Gone

Make Your Wishes Known

Give a copy of your pet trust to the caregiver and trustee. Leave emergency phone numbers with the executor or personal representative of your estate and your family. Let them know how important it is to move quickly if something should happen to you. Don’t risk your pet being abandoned during these early days.

Who Will Care for Your Pet if You Become Disabled?

A pet trust will become effective should you become disabled. Your designated caregiver can care for your pet under the provisions in your trust. This type of trust would require funding now so that a caregiver would have access to the trust funds should a disability occur during your lifetime. If you never face disability, the trust becomes effective upon your death.

Protect Your Pets After You’re Gone

Next Steps

If you would like assistance in how to include Shriners Hospitals as the final beneficiary of your pet’s trust or other ways we can be included in your estate plan, please contact us.

Don Gorbandt
Corporate Director of Planned & Major Giving
Phone: 813.367.2241
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: dgorbandt@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/your-planning-library
Clare Meade
Senior Regional Planned & Major Giving Director
Phone: 813.217.3118
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: cmeade@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/cmeade
Kathleen Luzier-Bogolea
Senior Regional Planned & Major Giving Director
Phone: 813.518.7746
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: kluzier-bogolea@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/kluzier-bogolea
MJ Miller
Senior Regional Planned & Major Giving Director
Phone: 801.214.5351
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: mjmiller@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/mjmiller
Terri Andrews
Senior Regional Planned & Major Giving Director
Phone: 314.920.0716
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: tandrews@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/tandrews
David Cantrell
Senior Regional Planned & Major Giving Director
Phone: 813.285.6277
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: dcantrell@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/dcantrell
Alison Petty
Director of Planned and Major Giving Operations
Phone: 813.367.2241
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: apetty@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/apetty
Natalie Deniz
Planned & Major Giving Specialist
Phone: 813.518.7707
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: ndeniz@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/ndeniz
Soledad Toca
Planned & Major Giving Specialist
Phone: 813.518.7615
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: stoca@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/stoca
Bob Hawkes
Planned & Major Giving Officer
Phone: 813.367.2241
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: bob.hawkes@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/bobhawkes
Jennifer Hughes
Director of Principal Gifts and Campaigns
Phone: 713.202.6495
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: jhughes@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jhughes
Catherine McDonough
Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Phone: 813.205.2719
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: cmcdonough@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/cmcdonough
Jacqui Kasper
Associate Director, Principal Gifts and Campaigns
Phone: 813.344.6167
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: jkasper@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jkasper
Jeremy Tomlinson
Associate Director, Corporate & Community Engagement
Phone: 813.518.7635
Fax: 813.281.7156
Email: jetomlinson@shrinenet.org
2900 N. Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jetomlinson
Stacey Perlmutter
Director of Development
Phone: 413.787.2000
Email: sperlmutter@shrinenet.org
516 Carew St.
Springfield, MA 01104

https://shcgiftplanning.org/sperlmutter
Shiva Damghany
Director of Development
Phone: 617.371.4746
Email: sdamghany@shrinenet.org
51 Blossom St.
Boston, MA 02114

https://shcgiftplanning.org/sdamghany
Carolyn Wahto
Development Officer
Phone: 617.371.4807
Email: cwahto@shrinenet.org
51 Blossom St.
Boston, MA 02114

https://shcgiftplanning.org/cwahto
David Schumacher
Director of Development
Phone: 814.875.8781
Email: daschumacher@shrinenet.org
1645 W. 8th St.
Erie, PA 16505

https://shcgiftplanning.org/daschumacher
Terry Diamond
Director of Development
Phone: 215.430.4055
Email: tdiamond@shrinenet.org
3551 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140

https://shcgiftplanning.org/tdiamond
Bonnie Meister
Development Officer
Phone: 215.430.4046
Email: bmeister@shrinenet.org
3551 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140

https://shcgiftplanning.org/bmeister
Paul Finelli
Director of Development
Phone: 864.255.7850
Email: pfinelli@shrinenet.org
950 W. Farris Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605

https://shcgiftplanning.org/pfinelli
Jennifer Pearson
Development Officer
Phone: 864.255.8770
Email: jfpearson@shrinenet.org
950 W. Farris Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jfpearson
Christie Waters
Donor Development Associate
Phone: 864.255.8765
Email: cwaters@shrinenet.org
950 W. Farris Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605

https://shcgiftplanning.org/cwaters
Dale Wallenius
Director of Development
Phone: 859.268.5770
Email: dwallenius@shrinenet.org
110 Conn Terrace
Lexington, KY 40508

https://shcgiftplanning.org/dwallenius
McRae Stephenson
Development Officer
Phone: 859.368.5766
Email: ann.stephenson@shrinenet.org
110 Conn Terrace
Lexington, KY 40507

https://shcgiftplanning.org/annstephenson
Alicia Argiz-Lyons
Director of Development
Phone: 813.975.7118
Email: aargiz-lyons@shrinenet.org
12502 USF Pine Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612

https://shcgiftplanning.org/aargiz-lyons
Thomas Sloan
Director of Development
Phone: 713.793.3709
Email: tsloan@shrinenet.org
6977 Main St.
Houston, TX 77030

https://shcgiftplanning.org/tsloan
Debra Richmond
Development Officer
Phone: 713.793.3947
Email: derichmond@shrinenet.org
6977 Main St.
Houston, TX 77030

https://shcgiftplanning.org/derichmond
Lisa Court
Director of Development
Phone: 409.770.6957
Email: lcourt@shrinenet.org
815 Market St.
Galveston, TX 77550

https://shcgiftplanning.org/lcourt
Lisa Mignerey
Development Officer
Phone: 409.770.6853
Email: lmignerey@shrinenet.org
815 Market St.
Galveston, TX 77550

https://shcgiftplanning.org/lmignerey
Jennifer Martin
Director of Development
Phone: 318.226.4304
Email: jmmartin@shrinenet.org
3100 Samford Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71103

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jmmartin
Jennifer Laurent
Development Officer
Phone: 318.222.5704
Email: jlaurent@shrinenet.org
3100 Samford Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71103

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jlaurent
Aaron J. Hanson
Director of Development
Phone: 626.389.9566
Email: aahanson@shrinenet.org
909 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

https://shcgiftplanning.org/aahanson
Joanne David
Development Officer
Phone: 626.389.9587
Email: jodavid@shrinenet.org
909 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jodavid
Nathan Clark
Director of Development
Phone: 801.536.3567
Email: naclark@shrinenet.org
1275 E. Fairfax Rd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

https://shcgiftplanning.org/naclark
Kristin Liszkowski
Associate Director of Development
Phone: 801.536.3812
Email: kliszkowski@shrinenet.org
1275 E. Fairfax Rd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

https://shcgiftplanning.org/kliszkowski
Alan Anderson
Director of Development
Phone: 916.453.2008
Email: asanderson@shrinenet.org
2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

https://shcgiftplanning.org/asanderson
Melissa Wood
Associate Director of Development
Phone: 916.453.2110
Email: mwood@shrinenet.org
2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

https://shcgiftplanning.org/mwood
Bettina Kohlbrenner
Development Officer
Phone: 916.453.2321
Email: bettina.kohlbrenner@shrinenet.org
2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

https://shcgiftplanning.org/bettinakohlbrenner
Janessa Pulido
Development Officer–Silicon Valley
Phone: 916.453.2321
Email: jpulido@shrinenet.org
2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jpulido
Kathy Park
Director of Development
Phone: 971.544.3334
Email: kkpark@shrinenet.org
3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97239

https://shcgiftplanning.org/kkpark
Devereaux Dion
Associate Director of Development
Phone: 971.282.4605
Email: ddion@shrinenet.org
3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97239

https://shcgiftplanning.org/ddion
Angelique Heinzen
Director of Development
Phone: 509.744.1242
Email: aheinzen@shrinenet.org
911 W. 5th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99210

https://shcgiftplanning.org/aheinzen
Lisa Smith
Associate Director of Development
Phone: 509.252.3381
Email: lissmith@shrinenet.org
911 W. 5th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99210

https://shcgiftplanning.org/lissmith
Lori Suan
Director of Development
Phone: 808.951.3609
Email: lsuan@shrinenet.org
1310 Punahou St.
Honolulu, HI 96826

https://shcgiftplanning.org/lsuan
Dianne Johnson
Director of Development
Phone: 314.692.6430
Email: dsjohnson@shrinenet.org
4400 Clayton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110

https://shcgiftplanning.org/dsjohnson
Janet Cline
Development Officer
Phone: 314.872.8330
Email: jcline@shrinenet.org
4400 Clayton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jcline
Jennifer Sutch
Director of Development
Phone: 612.596.6201
Email: jsutch@shrinenet.org
215 Radio Drive, Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jsutch
Dan Winter
Director of Development
Phone: 773.385.5805
Email: dwinter@shrinenet.org
2211 N. Oak Park Dr.
Chicago, IL 60707

https://shcgiftplanning.org/dwinter
Janet Coffey
Development Officer
Phone: 773.385.5451
Email: jcoffey@shrinenet.org
2211 N. Oak Park Dr.
Chicago, IL 60707

https://shcgiftplanning.org/jcoffey
Mark McCauley
Development Officer
Phone: 773.385.5879
Email: mamccauley@shrinenet.org
2211 N. Oak Park Dr.
Chicago, IL 60707

https://shcgiftplanning.org/mamccauley
Bethany Deines
Director of Development
Phone: 513.872.6029
Email: bdeines@shrinenet.org
3229 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229

https://shcgiftplanning.org/bdeines
Kari Tucker
Associate Director of Development
Phone: 513.872.6100
Email: kari.tucker@shrinenet.org
3229 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229

https://shcgiftplanning.org/karitucker

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Protect Your Pets After You’re Gone

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Someone from Shriners Hospitals for Children will be in contact with you soon. If you need to speak to us immediately, please call us at 813.367.2241.