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Plan Now to Protect Your Pets Later

October 1, 2010


Some consider their pets to be members of their family. Others have made a career out of breeding, raising and/or sheltering animals. When animal owners pass away, if they have not made provisions for the continuing care of their pets, the outcome can be disastrous. Often, the recipient of the pet does not care to, or is not prepared to, take on the responsibility of providing ongoing care. As a result, the pets are then euthanized, neglected or abandoned. If you care about the ongoing welfare of your pet after your demise, your estate plan should specifically address your pet.

Most often, an animal owner will desire to establish a trust for the benefit of their pet. The majority of the United States recognize trusts that name an animal as the beneficiary; however, while pet trust legislation did recently pass the Massachusetts House, Massachusetts still does not recognize such trusts. While it is not possible to create an enforceable trust solely for the benefit of an animal, it is possible to establish an enforceable trust for the benefit of the animal’s caretaker.

One of the most important decisions when planning for your pet is…

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by: Gina M. Barry

October 2010

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