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New Massachusetts Law Allows Trusts to Be Established to Take Care of Pets

Effective April 7, 2011, there is a new law in Massachusetts that allows a person to set up a trust for the benefit of a pet. In the past, pet owners were limited under Massachusetts law to leaving funds to a person and hoping those funds would be used to take care of the pet as a moral obligation, but not a legal one. Under this new law, a trust can be set up with the pet as beneficiary, with the toughest legal issue appearing to be how to protect the trust from being attacked from disgruntled heirs on the grounds of excessive funding. I have established a blog to deal solely with Massachusetts pet trust issues. You can find it at There are already several posts there about the basic components of an effective Massachusetts Pet Trust, including appointing Trustees, Caretakers (sometimes referred to by others as guardians or caregivers) and Monitors (sometimes referred to by others as pet panels), as well as other basic issues to consider. Text of the New Massachusetts Law Allowing Establishment of Pet Trusts Can You Leave a Sum of Money Directly to Your Pet in Your Will? What Are the Reasons to Establish a Massachusetts Pet Trust? What Are the Basic Components of a Massachusetts Pet Trust? With Whom Should You Discuss Your Plans for Your Massachusetts Pet Trust? Should You Have a Discussion with Your Veterinarian about Your Plan to Establish a Massachusetts Pet Trust? What are the Key Issues to Consider When Appointing the Trustee of a Massachusetts Pet Trust? Choosing a Caretaker for Your Pet in Your Massachusetts Pet Trust Who Should Be the Monitor in Your Massachusetts Pet Trust? Should Your Massachusetts Pet Trust Be a Provision in your Will, or Should It Be a Separate, Stand-alone Trust? When Can the Amount in a Massachusetts Pet Trust Be Reduced by the Court? What Are the Income Tax Issues for Massachusetts Pet Trusts? Instead of Establishing a Pet Trust, Can You Leave Your Pet to Your Veterinarian or an Animal Shelter? Establishing a Life Care Plan for Your Pet

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