Selection of  the Care Taker and Trustee 

The pet owner needs to identify the pet(s), to select a trustee, a pet caregiver, successor trustee(s) and caregiver(s), a remainder beneficiary, and possibly a trust protector. The pet owner should ask whether the trustee(s) and pet caregiver(s) will accept such commitment. The pet owner should also discuss his/her concept of care and provide instructions for medical treatments and end of life care of the pet. 

The trustee will oversee the caretaking and periodically check on the pet and the pet’s premises.  The trustee should be given the power to remove the pet caregiver and to name a successor caregiver if none has been selected or available. The trustee should not be allowed to name him/herself as pet caregiver. 
The remainder beneficiary could be a nonprofit organization dedicated to animals. This will limit family members to challenging the establishment of the trust or its funding amount. In addition, the organizations will not challenge -while other remainder beneficiaries may- the liberal use of the trust funds by the trustee or the caregiver in spoiling the pet. 

A standard of care should be set as mentioned above for emergency care and end of life instructions should be addressed. Virginia Code Section 55-544.08 (E) allows the Court to determine the value of the trust property which would “exceed the amount required for the intended use.” It is therefore important to keep and document the calculation of the estimated funds for the trust.