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Monday, February 18, 2013

Is it possible to establish a Trust for your Pet?

Laws on the subject of pet trusts vary from state to state.  Since animals are not allowed to be beneficiaries of a trust, various legislative devices have been employed in the past.  Some states authorized the creation of “honorary trusts” which could be used to provide for the care of a pet, but were not enforceable by a court.  The Uniform Probate Code recognized “pet trusts” in 1990, and the Uniform Trust Code added a pet trust provision in 2000.  However, the Uniform Codes are only recommendations, and each state chooses whether or not to adopt any of their provisions.  As of the end of 2009, 42 states and the District of Columbia have adopted some type of provision which allows creation of a pet trust, some based on the Uniform Trust Code provisions, and some on neither, including some remaining “honorary trust” provisions.

The law has traditionally regarded pets as “property” and thus not possessing any rights.  In the past, individuals had to do such things as leaving money to a person with instructions to care for their animals, and hope that their wishes would be carried out, since there was no legal way to enforce such a provision.  However, a growing recognition of the importance of companion animals to people has led to several advancements in legislative establishment of means to protect animals left behind.  Call if you have questions!  Our office can help with your pet planning needs (770)416-0776.

 


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The Elrod-Hill Law Firm,LLC assists clients with Estate Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid, Elder Care Law, Probate, Special Needs Planning and Pet Trusts in the North Atlanta area including the counties of Dekalb, Gwinnett and Fulton.



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