Pet Trusts – Is Your Pet Protected?

Arizona has two statutes that deal with trusts for animals: ARS §14-10408 and ARS §14-2907.  In Arizona, a pet owner can provide for the care of their pet through a will.  A will provision as simple as “I leave $5,000.00 for the care of my cat, Izzy” is enough to create a trust for the care of a pet.

  A pet owner may, and should, designate someone to serve as trustee.  However, if a pet owner does not designate a trustee, the statutes provide for the appointment of one by the court. There is no limit to how much a pet owner may leave for the care of their pet, but owners should be aware that if the amount “substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use” (i.e., the care of a pet), the court may reduce the amount of property transferred to the trust.

  The pet owner should decide and designate where they would like any remaining funds to go.  Otherwise, the statutes provide for the disbursement of the remaining funds.  Unless ordered by the court, or the pet owner includes a provision stating otherwise, no accounting, filing, reporting, registration, separate maintenance of funds, appointment, or fee is required.  The trust will terminate when all funds are depleted or the pet passes away.

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