Pet trust – A welcomed solution for all pet owners

THE keeping of pet has always been of key importance in human lives. They provide companionship and bring us endless joy and positive energy.

Having a pet has been scientifically proven to bring health benefits and therapeutical effects to us such as reduction in stress, loneliness and anxiety.

They do not ask for much in life. Most of the time, they need only a warm and sheltered place to live, as well as adequate food and water. In return, they will give us unconditional love, loyalty and companionship.

Thus, we consider them as family, and we want to give the best care possible to them. It is not purely out of responsibility as an owner of a pet but as part of the family, to the extent we often hear a pet owner refer to themselves as a pet parent and to the pets as furkids.

The responsibilities of pet parents are not to be taken lightly.

Ask ourselves this: can we provide adequate attention and dedication to our pets? Can we financially afford to feed and provide medical care for them?

To afford such responsibilities, many would consider pet insurance.

There are a few insurance companies in Malaysia that offer pet insurance that may provide adequate compensation for the pets’ medical expenses as well as for their funeral (you can actually pay for funeral services to give the deceased pet a proper send-off).

However, no matter how extensive the coverage of the pet insurance is, it is only financial compensation and would never cover for emotional loss.

While it is good to have some expenses insured, it may not answer a pet parent’s deepest concern, which is to ensure your furkid deserves the best care all the time, even when you are not around.

Take the preparations needed when a pet parent is going overseas for holiday for example. He would need to find a trustworthy boarding service where his precious furkid can stay that offers an equivalent level of care that he provides.

He would need to inform the boarding service provider of the habits of his furkid, for instance, when will it need to be walked, how frequently it needs to be fed, and with what type of food and vitamins. Some would even leave behind the furkid’s favourite toys for them to play with.

But what if this is a one-way trip without a return ticket?

Leaving a pet behind is as bad as, and in some cases worse than leaving a child. Unlike our children, pets are not as well protected by law.

The pet welfare infrastructure in Malaysia is somewhat lacking. What can a pet owner do to give the best possible protection for their pet when he departs?

The answer is to set up a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement where you entrust assets (usually a sum of money) to a trustee.

The trustee has the responsibility to administer the assets according to your instructions left in a written trust deed, for the benefit of the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

A pet trust can be structured in such a way that it will only commence when the pet parent is no longer around or becomes incapacitated such as falling into a comatose state.

Once the trust is triggered, the appointed trustee will step in to replace the pet parent to ensure his pet receives proper care.

Where needed, a protector can also be appointed as the liaison between the trustee and the pet guardian/caregiver to ensure that no one abuses the trust funds.

With a pet trust, the trustee will use the liquid assets such as money in the bank and life insurance monies to pay for the pet’s care and related expenses such food and supplements, regular veterinarian visits, medical treatment expenses and grooming needs.

The pet trust can be tailormade according to the pet’s unique needs. The pet parent should clearly lay down important instructions that might impact the pet’s standard of living and care.

It can also be used to specify any burial or cremation arrangements that the owner prefers once the pet passes on.

Life is unpredictable and every moment must be cherished but the future must be planned properly.

A pet trust is the dream of every pet lover. It is the ultimate solution that every pet parent should consider if they truly care about their furkids.

Pets have done their part by giving all the love they have. Now let us do our part to reciprocate their love even when we are no longer around. – July 14, 2021.