Massachusetts Pet Trusts

Massachusetts will join some 42 other states and allow us to dictate, in a will, a trust for the care of your pets. On April 7, Massachusetts’s law will include An Act Relative to Trusts for the Care of Animals. The law finally allows you to leave money and care instructions for your pets in your will. You can set up a trust similar to one you would to provide a college fund for a child or a special needs trust for an incapacitated adult. Boston attorney Neil Burns will draft wills for clients to include an Animal Trust

The new law contains some restrictions. First, the trust can only be set up for an existing pet, or pets. Second, the trust terminates upon the death of the named pets, regardless of its offspring. Third, the trust is subject to the Probate Court’s distraction to lower the amount. Finally, a secondary beneficiary may sue the trustee if she feels that he is not adequately providing for the pet. Any money left over after the pets die would be distributed per the will.
In a wonderful bar exam-like twist in the new law, the trusts are exempt from the rule against perpetuities. See Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 3C, Section 1 (g)