Assigning Assets and Pets to a Revocable Living Trust During the Pet Owner’s LifetIme
Posted March 9, 2012on:
There are very few people who want to leave everything in trust for their pets, and the Massachusetts pet trust law prohibits leaving an unreasonable amount to be held in trust for the benefit of pets. The clients that I have dealt with recently who wanted to take advantage of their new opportunity to leave funds in trust for their pets have done a specific dollar amount or percentage of their revocable living trust.
To be able to have the pet taken care of both during the pet owner’s disability and after the pet owner’s death, the Trustee needs the authority to make expenditures for the benefit of the pet. The pet can be assigned to the trust when the trust is established (or amended) or the person serving as agent or attorney-in-fact in the pet owner’s durable power of attorney can assign ownership of the pet and other assets to the trust. Only then can the assets or income of the trust be utilized for the pet’s benefit. To minimize the Trustee’s potential financial liability to anybody inheriting from the trust, it is also advisable for the trust to have an explicit provision authorizing payments to or for the benefit of the pet.