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New Massachusetts Law on Pet Trusts

If you love your pet, you are not alone. More than 1 of every 3 Massachusetts households has at least one cat or dog, according to estimates by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And that's not even counting birds and other types of animals.

What happens, though, when someone is aging and becomes concerned about who will take care of his or her pet after the pet owner dies?

Fortunately, a new Massachusetts law allows pet owners to create trusts to care for pets after their owners' death or incapacitation. The new law became effective on April 7.

In the past, pet owners did often attempt to provide care arrangements for their pets following the death of the owner. This type of arrangement was particularly needed for parrots, for example, because they can live for over 70 year.

But now, under the new law, arrangements to take care of a pet no longer have to rely so much on the good will of the person named to provide the care. The pet trust law allows for the appointment of a trustee, as well as a separate "trust protector" to make sure the terms of the trust are followed.

Massachusetts had been one of only a few states without a pet trust law. Animal lovers across the state are eagerly embracing the opportunity the new law gives to make proper plans to take care of their pets, no matter what contingencies may arise. Talk with an experienced estate planning lawyer at our firm for more information about how to proceed.

Source: "New law gives teeth to pet trusts,", 4-16-11

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