Estate Planning and Pets

April 9, 2019
Alec Borenstein

Caring for a pet after the death of an owner is an increasingly common wish among families and pet owners in New Jersey and across the country. Dogs, cats and other pets offer unconditional friendship, a quality some people find only in their animal companion. Legally providing for your pet ensures they are cared for if something should happen to you.

Because animals are recognized as property, bequeathing money directly to your pet is difficult. Under New Jersey law, you can create a trust through your estate plan to provide for one or more pets. In New Jersey, you can fund a pet trust until your pet passes away or until the end of 21 years. Your trust document should designate where money remaining in the trust should go when your pet no longer needs it.

Here is an article from Kiplinger about the necessity for pet estate planning and pet trusts in New Jersey and New York. If you have any questions about your estate planning, please feel free to contact Alec Borenstein at or call 908-236-6457.


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Borenstein, McConnell & Calpin, P.C. is a Wills & Estate Planning law firm serving Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as New York City. We strive not only to give you a great client experience, but to become your trusted adviser for life. To reach Alec, please send an email to

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