A trust is generally not advisable for the sole purpose of avoiding probate in Texas.  Many times, the cost of a trust outweighs the cost of probate.

However, there are many reasons to have a trust beyond avoiding probate.  A recent law journal article summarizes many of the “oddball” trusts for estate planning clients’ unique goals.

Here are several of the oddball trusts estate planning clients request:

Pet Trusts – Texas allows pet trusts, which are a specialized type of trust specifically for the care of pets.  Although pets can feel like part of the family, pets are considered “property” by Texas, and pet trusts are governed by Texas Property Code – Section 112.037.  A pet trust holds money that can be used for the food, vet bills, or other care of a pet and can last as long as the pet lives.

Coogan Trusts – There are trusts specially created to provide for child actors (like Jackie Coogan).  Granted, these are not widely used.  For those child actors being paid large sums of money, instead of receiving huge paychecks outright, the paychecks will go into the Coogan Trust.  These trusts are incredibly useful for highly paid child actors in the State of California–admittedly, not a large group.

Personal Revival Trust – There is now a trust specifically for those individuals planning to have their bodies cryogenically frozen after death.   Legally, a cryogenically frozen person is dead and cannot be a beneficiary of a trust.  However, when (if) the cryogenically person is revived, that person can then be the trust beneficiary again.

What’s the reasoning behind discussing these unique trusts?  To illustrate just how much can be accomplished with trusts.  Avoiding probate is just one of a million different purposes for a trust.  There is an infinite number of trust variations.  There is no one-size-fits-all trust because each person has a unique family and unique set of goals.

An estate planning attorney can develop a legal trust that’s just right for your needs, no matter how “oddball” those needs may be.

Visit www.ShuttLawFirm.com for more information on Texas estate planning law, living trust, pet trust, or other oddball Texas trusts, contact Richardson, Texas lawyer Isaac Shutt at ishutt@shuttlawfirm.com.

Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road in Richardson, TX.


You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you need to avoid probate, a living trust, a pet trust, or other estate planning trust in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX or surrounding North Texas area.


DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.