Law Office of John S. Palmer Attorney at Law

(425) 455-5513

Pet Trusts

Historically, only humans could be trust beneficiaries. However, Washington law now specifically permits the establishment of trusts for the benefit of “non-human animals with vertebrae,” dogs, cats and birds (especially parrots due to their longevity.)

We have drafted Wills for several clients directing that a trust be established after the client’s death for the benefit of the client’s pets. Typically, the trustee is given the discretion to use trust assets for any expenses related to the general maintenance and support of each pet (including food, grooming, training, and veterinary care), either by reimbursing the pet’s new owner for such expenses, or by direct payment to third-party providers. The trustee may, but need not be, the new pet owner.

If the trustee is not using trust funds for the benefit of the animal beneficiary, the new pet owner, or anyone with an interest in the welfare of the animal, may seek removal and replacement of the trustee.

After the death of all the pets for whom the trust is created, the remaining trust assets may be paid to human beneficiaries of the decedent’s choice, or to a charity, such as an animal-welfare organization.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (425) 455-5513, toll free at (877) 455-5513, or

Local: (425) 455-5513
Toll Free: (877) 455-5513
Fax: (425) 455-5546
Law Office of John S. Palmer11911 NE 1st St, Ste. B204,Bellevue, WA 98005-3056