Pet Trust to Keep Pets in Loving Homes | Animal Care Trust USA

ANIMAL INNOVATIONS SHOW - EPISODE 105 - ANIMAL CARE TRUST USA

Pet Trust to Keep Pets in Loving Homes | Animal Care Trust USA

Protect your pets even when you can no longer care for them!

With Animal Care Trust USA, you can do just that with a pet trust.

According to Atty. Peggy Hoyt, founder of Animal Care Trust USA,

“[Pet trust] is a trust that you can create where the beneficiary of the trust is a pet—a cat, a dog, a horse, a domestic animal, usually—in all 50 states… So, there’s no excuse for a pet parent not to have a plan for their pets.”

Ensuring Your Pets’ Welfare With Animal Care Trust USA

Although not many people know that about them, Atty. Peggy said that pet trusts really are nothing new.

In fact, they’ve been around for about 20 years, give or take.

“I spend a lot of time as an estate planning and elder law attorney talking to people about their personal estate plans. And I often find that people may not have even given that any thought. They just assume that their children or a neighbor…is going to come out of the woodwork to take care of their pets.”

animal care trust usa ensures your pets' welfare

According to the pet advocate who is a pet mom herself, this lack of pet plans is what contributes to more than half a million loved pets dying each year in shelters.

The good news, however, is that pet trusts make it easy for pet parents like you to ensure that your animals stay loved and well taken care of.

“You can create a pet trust as part of your existing estate planning, or you can create a pet trust that I call a stand-alone pet trust. It’s a single purpose trust for the purpose of taking care of your animals… The sole beneficiary is going to be your pets, and we don’t have to share with anybody else,”

she said.

Pet Trust Talks With Animal Care Trust USA

While the concept may sound bizarre, Atty. Peggy said that it is a thing.

To prove her point, she elaborated on the different roles involved in a pet trust:

  1. The creator of the pet trust;
  2. The beneficiaries (i.e., your animals)
  3. The pet caregiver (i.e., a person responsible for the day-to-day care of your animals)
  4. The trustee (i.e., another person charged with the responsibility of overseeing the management, investment, and distribution of the assets in the trust);
  5. Pet or animal care panel (i.e., a group of people you know and trust who can’t take care of your pets but would still have an interest in knowing that they are being cared for).

She cautioned that the pet caregiver and the trustee should be different people. Otherwise, you risk the possibility that they might not have your animals’ best interests at heart.

As for the pet care panel, Atty. Peggy said that these people can participate on a panel to review things like annual veterinary certifications.

They can also consult with the trustee and the pet caregiver in the event of a chronic illness or humane euthanasia at the end of the pet’s lifetime.

When asked what exactly they do at Animal Care Trust USA, Atty. Peggy answered,

“We do a couple of things. We spend a lot of time educating people about the importance of planning and creating a pet trust. And then we offer a couple of different pet trust options depending on your budget, depending on your care requirements, depending on what you want for your pets.”

animal care trust usa pet trust options

Initially, what she really wanted was to create a system so that people would have peace of mind knowing that their pets were going to be taken care of, even if they couldn’t provide that care personally.

Now that Animal Care Trust USA has helped her turn that vision into reality, she shared her next goals,

“I would love to build a nationwide network of volunteers…and professionals…who are all talking to their clients about the importance of planning for their pets. I mean, a fabulous goal in this world would be to shut down all shelters because all animals have homes, right?”

 

Learn more about Animal Care Trust USA!

Go to their website at https://animalcaretrustusa.org/.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Peggy: Thank you very much.

My name is Peggy Hoyt, and you are tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: So, tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Peggy: So, my name is Peggy Hoyt, and I am a pet mom, a pet advocate, an author, a lawyer, and the founder of Animal Care Trust USA, which is the topic of our Animal Innovations today.

Chris: So, tell us more about Animal Care Trust. I mean, I’ve heard of the term animal trust, but— I am not an attorney.

So, I don’t really know how these things work.

Peggy: So, pet trust really are nothing new. They’ve been around for quite a while now, maybe going on about 20 years.

Gosh, time flies when we’re having fun. But many people don’t know that they exist.

But it’s actually a trust that you can create where the beneficiary of the trust is a pet. A cat, a dog, a horse, a domestic animal, usually. And all 50 States and the District of Columbia, now have statutes that authorize the creation of these trusts.

So, there’s no excuse for a pet parent not to have a plan for their pets.

Chris: No, I like that because many people obviously have plans for their kids. But you can do that for pets now.

And that’s great, that you can do that actually, in all 50 States.

Peggy: It took a while.

Minnesota was the last one to come on board, but we’ve got them all now.

And— so, I spend a lot of time as an estate planning and elder law attorney talking to people about their personal estate plans.

But I always talk to them about—tell me about your pets and what are your plans for your pets. And I often find that people may not have even given that any thought or they just assume that their children or a neighbor or I don’t know, somebody is going to come out of the woodwork to take care of their pets.

And what we know to be true is that more than half a million loved pets die needlessly each year in our shelters because their pet parents didn’t have a plan.

Chris: Yeah.

So, now is this what Animal Care Trust does? So, it helps me to find someone to take care of my pets.

Peggy: That’s one of the things it does, absolutely.

We do a couple of things. We spend a lot of time educating people about the importance of planning and creating a pet trust.

And then we offer a couple of different pet trust options. So, depending on your budget, depending on your care requirements, depending on what you want for your pets, you could join our ACT4Pets Community Pet Trust, which is a— it’s the lowest cost option.

But it guarantees that your pets will be rehomed with what we call a forever family, and then they will have oversight for the rest of their lifetime.

The second option would be what we call the: Forever Loved Pet Trust which is more of a stand-alone pet trust that you can customize.

You can choose your own pet caregivers, you can choose your own trustee. And then you can decide how you want your pets to be cared for.

And then the third option would be what I call a Custom Pet Trust option. And this would be most appropriate for people that want their pets to stay at home.

Chris: No, I never really thought of a—I guess I would call it a Common Pet Trust. It’s like a Joint Pet Trust, where lots of people, lots of animals.

But like you said, you’re then taking the responsibility to find and place my animals and then my— my funding, my money, right.

Is going into that kind of common— Common Trust.

Peggy: That’s correct.

So, right now we have a dog that was recently placed, her owner passed away last July and her name is Dixie. She’s a golden retriever and she was placed in a forever family.

And we watch over her and we consult with them on a regular basis to make sure she’s doing well.

We got photographs at Christmas of her lying in front of the fireplace with her stocking all hung with care next to her new buddy, Spencer.

And— then annually we’ll require that they submit a veterinary health certificate so that, we know that Dixie is doing well.

And we offer a couple of different packages. It just depends on how much oversight people want for their pets.

Some people want a little. Some people want a lot.

Chris: Yeah, I like that.

So, how does it work? If I’m somebody and I’m listening to this, or watching this and I go, I need to go look into that. Like, what are the steps that are involved?

Peggy: So, you could go to the website at ACT4PETS.ORG And we have a drop-down menu that says our trust.

And you can take a look at the various trust options. There’s even an option that says Compare Plans. So that, you can see each plan laid out side by side.

And if you want to participate in the Community Pet Trust or in the Forever Loved Pet Trust, there’s a way to purchase that right there online. And you can download the document, sign it, fill it out, send it back, and you’re good to go.

Chris: Yeah, I like that.

And I like the fact that you’ve thought through all those things, right. So, in the application and helping me to become a part of this Pet Trust now I don’t have to worry about all these things, right.

So, I don’t have to think through it all. It’s all just going to happen for me because you guys are organizing it and doing this for many other clients.

Peggy: That’s right. And we send you what’s called a Love Pet Profile so that you can fill out all of the information about your pets.

And people that join our trust, they enroll in a program called The Pet Protection Plan. So, that we stay on top of changes in your pet’s life as well.

So every year, I want you to think about updating that pet profile because your pet is getting older or its needs are changing or you’ve added a supplement, or now it’s taking some sort of medication, or there’s been just some change in the way that you’re caring for that animal.

Chris: Really cool.

So, what if I want to be on the other side? What if I want to sign up somewhere to be a caretaker? You need more of those, right?

Peggy: Absolutely, and you know that— I just thought about that a little bit more yesterday because I was talking to a gal that wants to plan for her two cats.

She’s from New York. And she said, “And if you’d like me to be a volunteer, I would be happy to do that.” So, I need to get that sign-up going right away and put your name at the top of the list and her name right below it.

Chris: So, any future plans for this and the other things that you’re looking to build out?

Peggy: Well, I would love to build, as you say, a nationwide network of volunteers. I also want to build a nationwide network of professionals so that, Attorneys, Financial Advisors, and CPAs and Hospice workers, Care Managers, and Pet Professionals that they’re all talking to their clients about the importance of planning for their pets.

Chris: Nice, this is really cool, Peggy.

I’m glad that you established this and built this. So, tell people again the website where they can go, learn more, compare the plans, and get signed up.

Peggy: So, ANIMALCARETRUSTUSA.ORG or ACT4PETS.ORG.

Chris: This is super cool, Peggy. And hopefully, everybody that’s watching and listening is going to go out there and sign up.

Is there anything else you want to mention before we wrap things up today?

Peggy: Well, if you don’t have a pet but you love pets, we’re happy to have you as a volunteer or we’re happy to accept your donations or have you sign up on AmazonSmile and support us.

But we need all the support we can get for the animals that we love.

Chris: Yeah, I probably need to take a look at this.

So, ANIMALCARETRUSTUSA.ORG or ACT4PETS.ORG, they can go check it out.

And as I wrap things up today, I’ll just remind our viewers and listeners, if you’ve got a brilliant idea like Peggy did for how you can help more animals, whether it be a product, a service, or even just an idea that you had, we want to talk about it.

We’d love to have you on the show. Love to have you on The Animal Innovations Show, maybe even on Peggy’s podcast.

But for our show, go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW, and we’d love to hear about it and go from there.

So, Peggy, thank you again for coming on and I’m really excited to hear what you’re doing.

Peggy: Thank you Chris and keep innovating, right.

Thank you.

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