Unlike humans, animals cannot inherit. This is because the law considers pets as the property of someone. Thankfully, there is a way around this in Minnesota as in many states. If you want to provide for your pet in your estate plan, you need to create a pet trust.
You can only do this for an animal that is alive when you die. So, if say you have a dog that is about to have puppies, but you die before they are born, the trust will only cover the mother.
Who looks after the money?
A trustee will be in charge of handling the money. You should set out what you want them to spend it on when creating the trust. They do not have to be the same person that looks after the pet on a day to day basis.
Who will check my pet gets the money as I intend?
You could also name someone as a trust enforcer. Anyone with concerns could ask a court to appoint one if you do not.
What happens to the money when my pet dies?
Perhaps you want any remaining money to pass to the local dog kennels when your dog dies. You can set this out in the trust rules. If you do not, a court will automatically distribute it among your heirs as per state law.
A good estate plan can take care of you and your family. If you consider your pets as part of your family, find out how to create a pet trust, so you look after them too.