On January 7, 2011, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a new law entitled “An Act Relative to Trusts for the Care of Animals,” which authorizes the establishment of trusts to provide for the care of pets in case the pet’s owner becomes disabled or dies. This new law takes effect on April 7, 2011, and Massachusetts then will join the 43 other states that already have pet trust laws.
Before this law was passed, pet owners were limited to leaving funds to a person and hoping that the person would take care of the pet as a moral obligation, not a legal obligation. Beginning April 10, 2011, an enforceable trust can be established in Massachusetts with the pet as the beneficiary. The trust can provide who will be the caretaker of the pet and make a reasonable amount of money available for the pet’s care.
Posted by: Brian E. Barreira, Esq. / 18 Samoset Street, Plymouth, MA 02360 / 508-747-8282