Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

More on Ken Kemper's Pet Trust

Grady_2Earlier on this blog, I reported on three dogs, Buckshot, Katie, and Obu-Jet, that are benefiting from the estate of their deceased owner, Ken Kemper, worth approximately $800,000 ($400,000 in cash and a house in Hagerstown, Maryland).

CNN has posted a great video of an interview with the dogs' caregiver, Roy Grady, which includes views of the house and the dogs.  See Dogs live the high life, CNN.com, Jan. 1, 2008.

It is also interesting to note that, as Robert C. Young (Stewart, Plant & Blumenthal, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland) pointed out to me, Maryland is one of the few states that still does not have statutory pet trust legislation.  Accordingly, I would assume Mr. Kemper used a "traditional pet trust" which may be used in all states.

For more information about pet trusts and related matters, see Estate Planning for Pet Owners.


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Look at the Kemper trust in more detail and who the key players are * * * Mr Kemper lived and died in Virginia. Try to look at the trust to see what it really says. * * *

Posted by: anonymous | Jan 1, 2008 9:29:56 AM

I am one of Ken Kemper's grandsons. I find your attention to the legal process behind my grandfather's trust refreshing, after seeing the AP stories everywhere focusing mostly on the dogs' Friday night dinner rituals. However, above, you mention Maryland's statutory pet trust legislation, or should I say, the lack thereof. The problem with this is that my grandfather never lived in Maryland, contrary to the information in the AP stories. He lived in Vienna, VA. I myself am not very well-read in Virginia's laws on pet trusts, so I am unaware if this makes a difference. * * * From my own point of view, I could care less about the money and am perfectly happy seeing the dogs being taken care of. However, for me, this story is not a fluff piece; it is a painful legal struggle to make sure my grandfather's wishes are honored and not taken for granted.

Posted by: Ben Chambers | Jan 15, 2008 5:46:50 PM

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