Wednesday, August 19, 2009



In 2008, California adopted a revised pet trust statute, which is found in California Probate Code Section 15212.

This law allows for you to include in your estate plan the provision that upon your death, a certain sum of money will be a held by trustee (that you appoint) in trust for benefit of your pet. A caregiver is also nominated to take care of the pet. The trustee and the caregiver may be the same person, or 2 different persons.

The nominated caregiver takes physical possession of the pet when you die, and the trustee provides funds to the caregiver as needed for the costs of the pet's food, veterinary care, and supplies.

A pet trust is a lawful trust, but is considered noncharitable; and "animal" is broadly defined in the law to include any domestic or pet animal.

The pet trust ends when the animal dies, and any funds left over are distributed to "remainder beneficiaries".

There are some requirements for accounting for large trusts, or if the trust document requires accountings, or if a court so orders an accounting.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or any other estate planning topics, please contact me.

Attorney at Law

This blog is not intended as substitute for legal advice from a qualified estate planning attorney in your jurisdiction.

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