Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taxation of Pet Trusts

Pets Gerry W. Beyer (Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law) and Jonathan P. Wilkerson (attorney and former Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tech Law Review) have recently published their article entitled Max's Taxes: A Tax-Based Analysis of Pet Trusts, 43 Univ. Richmond L. Rev. 1219 (2009).

Here is a summary of their article:

Humans and charities are no longer the primary entities many individuals wish to benefit upon death. Instead, there is a growing interest in providing for Rover, Fluffy, and Polly, that is, our beloved pets. There has been a recent surge of public interest in pet planning as high-profile individuals have died with significant provisions in their wills or trusts for the benefit of their animals.

This increase in the special estate planning needs of pet owners is reflected by legal scholarship, continuing legal education programs, and legislative action in the pet trust arena. But little time has been devoted to the tax ramifications of pet trusts although a brief discussions are included in several articles. The purpose of this article is to fill this gap and give practitioners guidance as to how pet trusts are treated for tax purposes and to suggest to Congress how the Internal Revenue Code should be amended to clarify taxation issues.

The article may be downloaded here and a limited number of complementary reprints of this article are available upon request.


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