According to a blog post I came across today, with Minnesota’s recent enactment of legislation permitting pet trusts, pet trusts are now recognized by law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
There are actually two separate Arizona statutes that deal with pet trusts, one of which is part of the probate code and has been in effect since 1995, the other of which is part of the trust code that was enacted in 2009.
A pet trust isn’t the only way to plan for the care of your pets if they outlive you, but it is a useful option. The concept is that pets are personal property, not people (no matter what some pet owners may think), so they can’t receive gifts in your estate plan like people can. Of course there’s also the problem that a pet can’t open a bank account, so even if you could make a gift directly to your pet, there has to be a person to hold the money for the pet. That’s where the idea of a pet trust comes in.
This is a topic that comes up frequently, so I’ll get into it further in future posts.
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