I live in Barkhamsted, Connecticut and have a two year old Otterhound named Oscar. Can you tell me if my state recognizes pet trusts?
Kacey, we went straight to the source on this one.
According to Sandra Norman-Eady, Chief Attorney, during the 2005 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly, an Act Concerning the Creation of Trusts for the Care of Domestic Animals, was introduced to the legislature.
“The bill authorized trusts for the care of domestic animals that are alive when the person who created the trust dies. It allowed a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, trust, partnership, incorporated or unincorporated association, or any other legal entity to be selected as trustee.
Under the bill, the trust would have terminated on the earlier of the following occurrences: (1) when the animal died, or if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal, when the last surviving animal died; or (2) 90 years after its creation.
A person appointed in the trust could enforce it. If no one was named, the bill allowed a court to appoint someone to enforce it. It allowed a person having an interest in the animal's welfare to ask the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or to remove a person appointed.
The bill specified that trust property authorized to care for an animal could be applied only for its intended use, except to the extent the court determined that the trust's value exceeded the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the trust, property not required for the intended use had to be distributed to the settlor, if living. (A settlor is the person who creates a trust and transfers property to it. ) Otherwise, it had to be distributed to the settlor's successors in interest. The bill permitted a trustee to be designated as the person who received the trust assets when the animal the trust benefits died.
The bill was referred to and voted out of the Judiciary Committee. However, it ultimately died in the Judiciary Committee upon recommitment by the Senate.”
No additional legislation has been passed in this area.
Therefore, Connecticut remains in the minority as one of only eleven states that does not recognize a statutory pet trust.
We have written before however, here , that you can still provide for your pet's future with an inter vivos trust or with a will provision in your current estate plan.
Contact your legislators if your want Connecticut to join the main stream of thought in this area.
With or without a statutory pet trust, you can do estate planning for your pets.
It is the responsible thing to do.