Submitted by admin on Wed, 07/08/2009 - 15:09
Unlike most other states, Massachusetts has no statute that allows your pet to benefit directly from a trust. However, that does not mean So those of us who live in Massachusetts and want to provide for our pets after we die can't do some estate planning with that goal in mind.
One method is to find two people who you trust, who understand your love for your pet, and who are willing to help you out. Then, have your attorney set up a trust for one of these people, the person who agrees to take custody of the pet and care for it. Name the other person as the trustee, the person who controls the money. With this arrangement, you can be fairly certain that your dog will be cared for (unless both of your friends decide to betray you and your pet--unlikely). Most attorneys are aware of this estate planning issue and use various, similar strategies to address the problem when drafting estate planning documents.
For more information or to post a question, visit our MA Estate Planning Discussion Forum.
UPDATE on pet trusts (1/10/11):
On January 7, 2011, Governor Patrick signed a new law that (in 90 days when it goes into effect) will allow pet owners to create trusts for the care of their pets. Under this new law, dubbed "An Act Relative to Trusts for the Care of Animals," the pet owner can name a trustee who will have actual, legally enforceable obligations to care for the pet(s) as specified in the law. Pet owners who are interested in such a trust should contact their estate planning attorney for more details.