While it is not legally necessary that a specific statement of purpose be included in a Massachusetts Pet Trust, it makes sense to include it. You could state that the primary purpose of the Pet Trust is to provide for the health, care and welfare of your pets, or you could go deeper into your wishes for your pets. A trust purpose section can establish your overall wishes and give general or specific instructions to the Trustee, Caretaker and Monitor in case they later have a difference of opinion.
You may not want the Caretaker to be prevented from doing what the Caretaker thinks is appropriate, but that problem could occur if the Trustee is second-guessing the Caretaker and withholding funds. For example, if any of your pets ever suffer from a medical or physical condition or illness and the Caretaker determines, based on the opinion of a Veterinarian who has examined the pet, that it would be more humane to euthanize the pet, then you may wish to authorize the Caretaker to do so at the expense of the Pet Trust.
The trust purpose section should also cover what happens both during your lifetime and after your death. During any period of time that you are incapacitated, the Pet Trustee should be allowed to spend the principal and net income of your trust as is necessary for the care of your pets, and if it is not practical to keep your pets and animals at your home during that time, then the pets should be placed with the Caretaker.
Posted by: Brian E. Barreira, Esq. / 18 Samoset Street, Plymouth, MA 02360 / 508-747-8282