PET TRUSTS: HOW YOU CAN PROTECT
THE FOUR-LEGGED, FURRY & FEATHERED MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY
Ask around and you will frequently find pet owners who will shamelessly admit that they enjoy
their pets more than other people. As pet owners we recognize that the comfort and care need of
our pets may one day extend beyond that which we are able to provide ourselves. Of course, pet
owners only want the best for their dogs, cats, horses, snakes, birds, etc. What happens when we
pass away, become incapacitated or can otherwise no longer care for our pets in the way that
they require?
Prior to 2012, the Massachusetts legislature had not provided an answer to this question, thus
leaving pet owners with no legally enforceable way to ensure that their pets are properly cared
for and maintained after a pet owner passes away or becomes incapacitated. Today,
Massachusetts courts recognize the creation of a trust—a pet trust—for the care and maintenance
of one or more pets for the duration of their lifetime(s). 1
One of the many benefits to establishing a pet trust is to provide pet owners with the peace of
mind that comes with knowing that their pets will be cared for according to their instruction. For
example, the fact that one’s dog only eats a certain type of dog food, or that one’s parrot requires
certain medications or treatment, are important details to incorporate into the trust to ensure that
your animals are cared for properly and in accordance with your wishes and their needs.
Another benefit to the establishment of a pet trust is that you are able to designate funds that will
be for the sole benefit of your animal. You can leave enough money to provide food, shelter, and
other necessities for your pet for the remainder of […]