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Pet Trusts

If you have pets, you know that they are part of the family. Just like the rest of your family members, you want to make sure they are provided for if you were to pass away. Now, Minnesota law has made it possible to do this with your estate plan. You can now establish a pet trust for the purpose of leaving money in your estate for the future care of your beloved pet.

Unique Estate Law makes your family, including your pets, its priority. Our estate plans focus on one thing, protecting the things you hold close.

Pet Trust Law in Minnesota

Recently enacted Minnesota Statute 501c.0408, Trust for Care of Animal, allows you to establish a trust to ensure your pets are cared for after you have passed. This does not mean that you leave your entire estate to your pet. The pet trust allows you to set aside money for a designated trustee to help take care of your pet after you die.

The pet trust can be created for any kind of pet, not just cats or dogs. You can also provide for more than one pet in the trust. The animal must be alive at your time of death and the trust cannot provide for future offspring of the pet unless they are born before you pass.

The trust can be in place until the animal dies or for 90 years, whatever is shorter. Most pets will not live to see 90 years, but your beloved Galapagos tortoise may be alive to the ripe age of 170. You will then have to put other plans in place for its continued care after the 90 year trust limitation has expired.

Funding a Pet Trust

The amount held in trust for the care of your pet(s) must be reasonable. If found that you put an excessive amount into the trust, the court can reduce the trust funds. This may remind you of billionaire Leona Helmsley who left her Maltese dog, Trouble, a $12 million trust fund. Finding this amount to be excessive, the probate court reduced this amount to $2 million. Reasonable funds will depend on the type of care the animal requires and is decided on a case by case basis by the probate court.

The money held in trust must be spent on caring for the pet. In the event that the pet dies before all of the money in the trust is spent, you can designate where that money goes in the trust agreement. If you do not specify where the remainder of the trust money should go, it will pass to your “heirs-at-law,” meaning it will pass as though you you did not have a will for these funds.

Estate Planning You Can Depend On

People, property, and pets all hold special value. Take the time to ensure you have an estate plan in place that ensures a future you want for all of these things. With our specifically customized estate plans and transparent fees, Unique Estate Law is here to best serve the clients that entrust us with ensuring the future of their loved ones. 

If you are interested in a pet trust consultation, contact us today by filling out a contact form or calling us at (952) 260-2043 with any questions you might have. Feel free to check out our fees page for pricing information.


From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, St. Paul, and Brooklyn Park.



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3800 American Blvd., Suite 1500, Bloomington, MN 55431
| Phone: 952-955-7623
333 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
| Phone: 952-955-7623
5775 Wayzata Blvd., St. Louis Park, MN 55416
| Phone: 952-955-7623

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