Many of those who come to us here at The Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez, P.L. inquiring about creating a trust want to do so primarily to ensure that those they love are taken care of. That love may extend to family members, friends, and yes, even pets. Like many in Miami, you may feel a strong bond with your pet, and would likely want to see him or her cared for if you were unable to do so. You could also own animals whose use you profit off of from breeding or entertainment purposes, and would want to protect your investment. In any event, Florida law does allow for the care of animals to be seen to through a trust.
According to the state’s Trust Code, any trusts set up for the care of animals is valid only while you are still alive. For example, were you to become incapacitated, such a trust could allow you to keep your animals from being sold by one appointed as your guardian or given power of attorney. One can be given the power to enforce the trust in one of three ways:
- By you naming him or her specifically in the trust instrument.
- By a court appointment.
- By another party interested in the welfare of animals requesting that one be appointed.
Interested parties may also petition the court to have one who is not meeting his or her duty stripped of that responsibility.
Trusts created for animals end when those that they protect die. Any property included in such trusts is only applied in terms of its intended use for the animal. In other words, you cannot name a pet as being the owner of property in a trust.
More details on trust law can be found here on our site.