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Why Horse and Livestock Owners Should Consider a Pet Trust

Horse and livestock owners should consider setting up a pet trust for their animals to ensure their well-being and care even after the owner’s incapacity or death.  A pet trust is a legally binding arrangement that allows you to provide for the care, maintenance, and expenses of your animals, including horses and livestock, in the event that you are no longer able to care for them.  A pet trust should be considered for all animals, but the importance of pet trusts for horses and livestock is crucial.

Reasons to Consider a Pet Trust

Horses and livestock have long lifespans. Because of recent advancements in geriatric animal care, these animals can live anywhere from 20-30 years.  Planning for their care long-term is crucial to ensure they continue to receive proper attention, medical care, and maintenance.  This can include their daily needs, veterinary care, farrier costs, and the animal’s overall well-being.  In many cases, horses and livestock often require specialized care, which may not be clearly understood by family members or potential caregivers.  A pet trust allows you to specify and outline detailed instructions for your animal’s care, feeding, medical treatment, exercise, and other specific needs.  Ensuring a smooth transition of care for your animals will help to minimize any disruption to their routines and well-being in the event of incapacity or death.


With a pet trust, you can designate a caregiver or multiple caregivers who are experienced and knowledgeable about the needs of your animals.  It is important to consider the quality of care the caregiver can provide for your animals.  This helps ensure that your animals receive consistent and appropriate care.  A pet trust allows you to set aside funds specifically for the care of your animals.  You can stipulate the amount of money to be allocated for their needs, including veterinary care, food, shelter, and other related expenses.

The Challenges Without a Pet Trust

Without a pet trust, there could be disputes or challenges among family members or potential beneficiaries regarding the care and ownership of your animals.  Pet trust helps minimize the likelihood of such conflicts.  The unknown is inevitable, many people worry about the continuing care of their animals after they are no longer able to do so. Knowing that your beloved animals will be cared for according to your wishes can provide peace of mind, especially during times of uncertainty.

Pet Power of Attorney

Implementing a pet power of attorney is a great way to ensure your animals are well taken care of when it gets to a point where you are no longer able to do so.  A power of attorney is a written document that legally authorizes your designated person (agent), to act on your behalf (principal) as it relates to your pet and their care.  Once the document is signed, by law your agent is required to make sure your requests are adhered to.

There are two types of POAs to consider depending on your situation and how long you want this arrangement to be: Non-Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney.  A Non-Durable Power of Attorney does not stay in effect if you become incapacitated.  Whereas a Durable Power of Attorney continues to be effective even after you are incapacitated.  In this case, you’ll want to have a Durable Power of Attorney to ensure that the care of your animals continues even when you are no longer able to do so.


It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning pet trusts, and the use of power of attorney to create a legally sound and comprehensive pet trust that addresses specific needs.  Consider a pet trust for your animals today, contact Legacy Counsellors at or call (413) 527-0517.