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Animal Law: Primary Sources

Uniform Trust Code § 408

Uniform Trust Code § 408 (citation from Westlaw) is the model statutory trust provision that validates and renders pet trusts enforceable, if it is adopted by a particular jurisdiction. Section (a) allows for the creation of a pet trust and its termination upon the death of the animal or animals in question. Section (b) allows the court to appoint a person to the trust if no person is appointed in the trust itself. Section (c) regards the amount of money allocated to the purpose of caring for the animal, and allows the court to reduce the amount if excessive and the remainder to be disbursed to the settlor or the settlors successors in interest.


Statutory Pet Trusts-State Examples

Each of the following are the statutory trust provisions.

1. Missouri: V.A.M.S. 456.4-408 Trust for Care of Animal

2. Washington, D.C.DC ST § 19-1304.08 Trust for Care of Animal

3. Colorado§ 15-11-901 Honorary Trusts; trusts for Pets

4. TexasV.T.C.A., Property Code § 112.037 Trust for Care of Animal

5. Illinois760 ILCS 5/15.2 Trusts for domestic or pet animals 

Citations from Westlaw

Uniform Probate Code § 2-907(b)

Unif.Probate Code § 2-907(b) is the provision of the Uniform Probate Code that governs testamentary pet trusts executed in probate upon the death of the pet owner. Many jurisdictions have adopted the Uniform Probate Code in whole or in part. Citation is from Westlaw.

Sub-section (b) governs trusts for pets specifically and states that the governing instrument must be liberally construed to carry out the general intent of the transferor, and allows extrinsic evidence to determine the pet owner's intent in drafting the traditional pet trust. Sub-section (c)(1) states that no portion of the principal or income allocated to the trustee should be used for anything other than the trust's purposes or for the benefit of the animal covered by the trust. Sub-section (c)(2) allocates unexpended trust property. Sub-section (c)(6) allows the court to reduce the property transferred if it determines the amount for the intended care of the pet exceeds the amount necessary for the intended use.


Statutory Pet Trusts-All States

All States: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals compiled a state by state list of the 46 states with statutory pet trust provisions. To see the code numbers and summaries of the statutes see here. 

If you would like an in-depth look at the statute and its legislative history, refer to one of the traditional legal research sources like Westlaw or Lexis.