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Estate Planning for Pets! Oklahoma Pet Trusts.

There is a popular trend among the states right now in estate planning law to allow people to make preparations for their pets in their will or trusts.  Oklahoma has recently joined the trend. Oklahoma now allows pet trusts since a relatively recent House Bill1641 that was signed into law and became effective August 27, 2010. If you want to read the statute in its entirety, click here.

A brief description of the law is essentially that the law has created a new section of the Oklahoma trust code that now legalizes trusts for the care of pets. The pet trust is terminated when there is no more living pets under the trust, so you can have a pet trust for more than one pet and it will exist until all the pets are deceased.  The statute then gives a description of what the rules for governing a pet trusts,  including compensation for the trustee, accounting requirements and provisions for terminating the trust. You can pick the trustee or pet caretaker, and trustees can be provided with compensation for administering the pet trust.

The code also states that the “The trustee may employ agents or contractors to provide any care and pay for the care from the assets of the trust. The trustee shall also ensure that the property of a trust authorized by this section is applied only to its intended use.”

The Oklahoma statute states that if you trust is below $20,000, the trust is exempt from fees, unless a court says otherwise. If the trust has a value of $20,000 or more, you will have to pay fees that include filing fees, periodic accounting, separate maintenance funds, and registration fees.

In the pet trusts, you can have complete control over your pet’s future needs, including their food, schedules, and even their veterinarian. The trust will be like most trusts: revocable, so you can make it go away or amend it at any time. You can make the trust be activated if you become disabled or incapacitated, which a will cannot do.

Overall, it is a good step forward in the area of pet estate planning.

Skillern Law Firm, PLLC can help you make preparations for caring for your pets when you are gone! Call or email us today.

1 thought on “Estate Planning for Pets! Oklahoma Pet Trusts.”

  1. We think blogs of this type are necessary and beneficial.
    At the end of the day, companion animal owners should invest in planning in advance for their families and be aware of the importance of including their pets in their estate plan. There are many questions raised when planning for companion animals that bear discussion and sometimes there are no easy answers.
    We believe that animals humanize us and remind us of our obligations and responsibilities to each other.
    Providing guidance to those who would like to explore planning possibilities for their families and pets; and for stimulating people to take action while they are able to do so is essential to bring these considerations, among others, to the minds and hearts of as many people as possible to encourage their participation in improving the care and comfort of all species with which we inhabit our planet (including companion animals). To secure the widest distribution of this transformative information as possible is in our opinion laudable and of value to everyone concerned with companion animal care and for all animal lovers.
    Barry Seltzer & Professor Gerry W. Beyer

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