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Alabama

Code of Alabama. Title 19. Fiduciaries and Trusts. Chapter 3B. Alabama Uniform Trust Code. Article 1. General. Title 19. Fiduciaries and Trusts. Chapter 3B. Alabama Uniform Trust Code. Article 4. Creation, Validity, Modification, and Termination of Trust.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: AL ST 19-3B-110; AL ST 19-3B-408

Citation: Ala. Code 1975 19-3B-110; Ala. Code 1975 19-3B-408


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 10/2013

Summary:   Alabama's pet trust law was enacted in 2006. A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.


Statute in Full:

§ 19-3B-110. Others treated as qualified beneficiaries.

(a) Whenever notice to qualified beneficiaries of a trust is required under this chapter, the trustee must also give notice to any other beneficiary who has sent the trustee a request for notice.

(b) A charitable organization expressly designated to receive distributions under the terms of a charitable trust has the rights of a qualified beneficiary under this chapter if the charitable organization, on the date of the charitable organization's qualification is being determined:

(1) is a distributee or a permissible distributee of trust income or principal;

(2) would be a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principal upon the termination of the interests of other distributees or permissible distributees then receiving or eligible to receive distributions; or

(3) would be a distributee or permissible distributee of trust income or principal if the trust terminated on that date.

(c) A person appointed to enforce a trust created for the care of an animal or another noncharitable purpose as provided in Section 19-3B-408 or 19-3B-409 has the rights of a qualified beneficiary under this chapter.

(d) The Attorney General of this state has the rights of a qualified beneficiary when the charitable interest to be represented would qualify under subsection (b) but no charitable organization has been expressly designated to receive distribution under the terms of a charitable trust.

(Act 2006-216, p. 314, § 1.)

ALABAMA COMMENT

Comparison to Uniform Code. Section 110 is the same as Section 110 of the Uniform Trust Code (2001), except for subsection (d), which is re-written for clarification.

UNIFORM COMMENT

Purpose and scope. Under the Uniform Trust Code, certain notices need be given only to the "qualified" beneficiaries. For the definition of "qualified beneficiary," see Section 103(13). Among these notices are notice of a transfer of the trust's principal place of administration (Section 108(d)), notice of a trust division or combination (Section 417), notice of a trustee resignation (Section 705(a)(1)), and notice of a trustee's annual report (Section 813(c)). Subsection (a) of this section authorizes other beneficiaries to receive one or more of these notices by filing a request for notice with the trustee.

Under the Code, certain actions, such as the appointment of a successor trustee, can be accomplished by the consent of the qualified beneficiaries. See, e.g., Section 704 (filling vacancy in trusteeship). Subsection (a) only addresses notice, not required consent. A person who requests notice under subsection (a) does not thereby acquire a right to participate in actions that can be taken only upon consent of the qualified beneficiaries.

Charitable organizations. Charitable trusts do not have beneficiaries in the usual sense. However, certain persons, while not technically beneficiaries, do have an interest in seeing that the trust is enforced. In the case of a charitable trust, this includes the state's attorney general and charitable organizations expressly designated to receive distributions under the terms of the trust. Under subsection (b), charitable organizations expressly designated in the terms of the trust to receive distributions and who would qualify as a qualified beneficiary were the trust noncharitable, are granted the rights of qualified beneficiaries under the Code. Because the charitable organization must be named in the terms of the trust and must be designated to receive distributions, excluded are organizations who may receive distributions only in the trustee's discretion. Requiring that the organization have an interest similar to that of a beneficiary of a private trust excludes in addition organizations holding remainder interests subject to a contingency.

Trusts with a valid purpose but no ascertainable beneficiary. Subsection (c) similarly grants the rights of qualified beneficiaries to persons appointed by the terms of the trust or by the court to enforce a trust created for an animal or other trust with a valid purpose but no ascertainable beneficiary. For the requirements for creating such trusts, see Sections 408 and 409.

Enforcement authority of attorney general. Subsection (d) does not limit other means by which the attorney general can enforce a charitable trust.

2001 Amendment. By amendment in 2001, "charitable organization expressly designated to receive distributions" was substituted for "charitable organization expressly entitled to receive benefits" in subsection (b). The amendment conforms the language of this section to terminology used elsewhere in the Code.

2004 Amendment. Subsection (b) is amended to better conform this provision to the Drafting Committee's intent. Charitable trusts do not have beneficiaries in the usual sense. Yet, such trusts are often created to benefit named charitable organizations. Under this amendment, which is based on the definition of qualified beneficiary in Section 103, a designated charitable organization has the rights of a qualified beneficiary only if it holds an interest similar to that of a qualified beneficiary in a noncharitable trust. The effect of the amendment is to exclude charitable organizations that might receive distributions in the trustee's discretion even though not expressly mentioned in the trust's terms. Also denied the rights of qualified beneficiaries are charitable organizations that hold only remote remainder interests. The previous version of subsection (b) had a similar intent but the language could be read more broadly.

The placing of subsection (d) in brackets recognizes that the role of the attorney general in the enforcement of charitable trusts varies greatly in the states. In some states, the legislature may prefer that the attorney general be granted the rights of a qualified beneficiary. In other states, the attorney general may play a lesser role in enforcement. The expectation is that states considering enactment will adapt this provision to the particular role that the attorney general plays in the enforcement of charitable trusts in their state. Some states may prefer to delete this provision. Other states might provide that the attorney general has the rights of a qualified beneficiary only for trusts in which no charitable organization has been designated to receive distributions. Yet other states may prefer to enact the provision without change.

 

§ 19-3B-408. Trust for care of animal.

(a) A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.

(b) A trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is so appointed, by a person appointed by the court. A person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or to remove a person appointed.

(c) Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to its intended use, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Except as otherwise provided in the terms of the trust, property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if then living, otherwise to the settlor's successors in interest.

(Act 2006-216, p. 314, § 1.)

ALABAMA COMMENT
Comparison to Uniform Code. Section 408 is the same as Section 408 of the Uniform Trust Code (2001).

UNIFORM COMMENT

Purpose and scope. This section and the next section of the Code validate so called honorary trusts. Unlike honorary trusts created pursuant to the common law of trusts, which are arguably no more than powers of appointment, the trusts created by this and the next section are valid and enforceable. For a discussion of the common law doctrine, see RESTATEMENT (THIRD) OF TRUSTS § 47 (Tentative Draft No. 2, approved 1999); RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TRUSTS § 124 (1959).
This section addresses a particular type of honorary trust, the trust for the care of an animal. Section 409 specifies the requirements for trusts without ascertainable beneficiaries that are created for other noncharitable purposes. A trust for the care of an animal may last for the life of the animal. While the animal will ordinarily be alive on the date the trust is created, an animal may be added as a beneficiary after that date as long as the addition is made prior to the settlor's death. Animals in gestation but not yet born at the time of the trust's creation may also be covered by its terms. A trust authorized by this section may be created to benefit one designated animal or several designated animals.
 
Enforcement of trust for animal. Subsection (b) addresses enforcement. Noncharitable trusts ordinarily may be enforced by their beneficiaries. Charitable trusts may be enforced by the state's attorney general or by a person deemed to have a special interest. See RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TRUSTS § 391 (1959). But at common law, a trust for the care of an animal or a trust without an ascertainable beneficiary created for a noncharitable purpose was unenforceable because there was no person authorized to enforce the trustee's obligations.
Sections 408 and 409 close this gap. The intended use of a trust authorized by either section may be enforced by a person designated in the terms of the trust or, if none, by a person appointed by the court. In either case, Section 110(b) grants to the person appointed the rights of a qualified beneficiary for the purpose of receiving notices and providing consents. If the trust is created for the care of an animal, then a person with an interest in the welfare of the animal has standing to petition for an appointment. The person appointed by the court to enforce the trust should also be a person who has exhibited an interest in the animal's welfare. The concept of granting standing to a person with a demonstrated interest in the animal's welfare is derived from the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, which allows a person interested in the welfare of a ward or protected person to file petitions on behalf of the ward or protected person. See, e.g., Uniform Probate Code §§ 5-210(b), 5-414(a).
 
Excess funds. Subsection (c) addresses the problem of excess funds. If the court determines that the trust property exceeds the amount needed for the intended purpose and that the terms of the trust do not direct the disposition, then a resulting trust is ordinarily created in the settlor or settlor's successors in interest. See RESTATEMENT (THIRD) OF TRUSTS § 47 (Tentative Draft No. 2, approved 1999); RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TRUSTS § 124 (1959). Successors in interest include the beneficiaries under the settlor's will, if the settlor has a will, or in the absence of an effective will provision, the settlor's heirs. The settlor may also anticipate the problem of excess funds by directing their disposition in the terms of the trust. The disposition of excess funds is within the settlor's control. See Section 105(a). While a trust for an animal is usually not created until the settlor's death, subsection (a) allows such a trust to be created during the settlor's lifetime. Accordingly, if the settlor is still living, subsection (c) provides for distribution of excess funds to the settlor, and not to the settlor's successors in interest.
 
Should the means chosen not be particularly efficient, a trust created for the care of an animal can also be terminated by the trustee or court under Section 414. Termination of a trust under that section, however, requires that the trustee or court develop an alternative means for carrying out the trust purposes. See Section 414(c).
 
This section and the next section are suggested by Section 2-907 of the Uniform Probate Code, but much of this and the following section is new.


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