Trusts are a popular estate planning vehicle in California. But trusts can be used for many purposes besides managing financial assets for the benefit of loved ones. In fact, California's Probate Code specifically says a trust can be established for any purpose that is not illegal or contrary to public policy. A good example of a specialized trust is the pet trust.
The purpose of a pet trust is to ensure that one or more pets are cared for when their owner is incapacitated or deceased. The person who creates the trust, known as the settlor, transfers funds to the trustee, to be used to care for the animals. The trustee can be instructed to care for the animal, or the trust can designate a separate caregiver to whom the trustee will make periodic payments for the animal's care.