Should My Pet Trust Include Compensation for the Caregiver or Trustee?

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If you are hiring a professional trustee or leaving your pet with a professional caregiver, your trust will likely include a provision for compensation. But you should also consider providing compensation even if you are not hiring a professional.

Although you are not required to pay your guardian or trustee, including a lump-sum payment or an ongoing salary is possible and fairly common. A typical amount to pay a trustee is 1% of the total value of the trust in recognition of the extra time they must spend administering a legal instrument. Caregiver compensation is much less standardized, and depends on a lot of personal factors. Consider if they are already receiving money under your estate plan or as an heir. Also consider the volume and complexity of any special requests you may have left.

It is generally not a good idea to leave a trust’s remainder to your caregiver or trustee when your pet passes away, to avoid any conflicts-of-interest that could arise from that arrangement. Pay their compensation from the trust’s total fund, and leave the remainder to a chosen charitable organization instead.