Friday, April 17, 2009
Here are some of the key features of this statute:
- The animal must be alive during the settlor's lifetime. [Est. & Trusts § 14-112(A)]
- The trust ends at the death of the last animal covered by the trust. [§ 14-112(B)]
- If the settlor did not appoint someone to enforce the trust, the court may appointed an enforcer. [§ 14-112(C)(1)]
- A person with an interest in the welfare of the animal may ask the court to appoint an enforce or to remove an enforcer who is not doing his/her job. [§ 14-112(C)(2)]
- Trust property may be used only for the pet's benefit unless the court finds that the value of the trust property is excessive. [§ 14-112(D)(1)]
- If the settlor did not provide express directions, excess trust property passes to the settlor (if still alive) or to the settlor's successors in interest if the settlor is dead. [§ 14-112(D)(2)]
- These provisions apply only to pet trusts created on or after October 1, 2009. [H.B. 149, § 2]
- The Rule Against Perpetutities does not apply to pet trusts. [§ 110102(b)(12)]
For detailed information on pet trusts and estate planning for clients who own pets, see Estate Planning for Pet Owners.
Special thanks to Robert C. Young (Stewart, Plant & Blumenthal, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland) for being the first reader to bring this development to my attention.