Pet Trusts: A Welcome Development
Estate Preservation Law Offices' team is focused on developing personal and long-lasting relationships with all our clients by treating them with respect and integrity - this standard is one of several principles that we honor when working with our clients.
When Massachusetts passed a law in January of 2011 authorizing the creation of trusts to provide for the care of pets, known as "An Act Relative to Trusts for the Care of Animals," we viewed it as a welcome development for our clients and pet owners alike. In working with our clients during the estate planning process, we've come to know and respect the deep bond they develop with their pets. We've also heard clients express concerns about how their pets' needs will be met when they are no longer able to care for them.
The new law is an answer to pet owners' concerns. As trusted advisors to our clients, it means that we can do more than just listen to their concerns - we can provide a solution. We are pleased to announce that Equine & Pet Trust Planning has been added to our list of services.
The History behind the Massachusetts Pet Trust Law
Horses live long lives - sometimes up to 40 years. Horse ownership is a commitment of time, resources and lifestyle. Under the old law, equestrians had no legally enforceable method of providing for their animals after death. As a state with a rich equine tradition, Massachusetts has been long overdue to address this in its laws. The unique challenges of horse ownership seem to have been one of the driving forces for the new Massachusetts pet trust law. The new law also extends to dogs, cats and other loyal companions that are such an important part of many peoples' lives.
Trusts for pets are not a new phenomenon. Several countries, most notably England, have allowed wills to contain provisions providing for pets for over a century. Studies show that the majority of pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family, thus it is hardly surprising that they feel the need to ensure that their pets are well cared for when they are no longer able to provide that care. In the United States, over 43 states have already enacted pet trust legislation.
Creating Your Pet Trust
Our approach to creating a Pet Trust is straightforward and seamlessly integrated into the estate planning process. We meet with you to learn all about you and your beloved pet, or pets, and your wishes for their care. Based on that discussion, we recommend the solution that best meets your current estate planning situation and wishes regarding your pet's care. Generally, this involves incorporating your Pet Trust into your existing estate plan or helping you develop a new estate plan that includes a Pet Trust.
● Estate Planning
● Asset Protection Planning
● Elder Law and Medicaid Planning
● Business and Corporate Planning
● Special Needs and Disability Planning
● Estate and Trust Administration
● Guardianships & Conservatorships
● Tax Planning - Corporate and Individual
● Charitable and Exempt Organizations
● Equine and Pet Trust Planning
● Veterans Benefits Planning
● Financial Aid Planning