Good news for pet owners:


On January 7, 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill which will allow pet owners to create and fund a trust for the benefit of their animals. The new law will take effect on April 7, 2011.


A pet trust is a legal arrangement providing for the care and maintance of pets in the event of an owner’s disability or death. The Trust may be created during the pet owner’s lifetime to arrange for continuing care or through provisions in a Last Will and Testament.


The pet trust will be an avenue to give pet lovers piece of mind that their pet companion will be cared for during its lifetime. It can cover any animal which was alive at the time of the owner’s death. The trust would terminate upon the death of the last surviving animal. The trust funds must be used for the benefit of the covered animals.


Upon trust termination, beneficiaries of excess funds are named or if none are named the remaining funds would pass according to the statute.


In a practical standpoint this new legislation will allow a pet owner to designate a Trustee to care for the pet and provide adequate funds to assure that the person will have the resources to provide adequate care and cover veterinary costs. The Trust may also give specific instructions to the Trustee or caretaker as to what steps to take in the event of the animal’s sickness.


The Law Office of Paul Kolesnikovas can assist in preparing pet trusts or assisting with providing the information on this new law for pet owners. Attorney Kolesnikovas has owned many pets and has been an advocate for animals in the community. He is a founding member of FOCAS Friends of Charlton Animal Shelter Inc. and still serves on the Board of Directors.