This Illinois law represents the state's pet trust law. The law states that a trust to care for one or more designated domestic animals is valid and terminates upon the death of the last named animal. Such trusts are to be liberally construed under the law and extrinsic evidence is admissible to prove a transferor's intent.
5/15.2. Trusts for domestic or pet animals
(a) A trust for the care of one or more designated domestic or pet animals is valid. The trust terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust. A governing instrument shall be liberally construed to bring the transfer within this Section, to presume against a merely precatory or honorary nature of its disposition, and to carry out the general intent of the transferor. Extrinsic evidence is admissible in determining the transferor's intent.
(b) A trust for the care of one or more designated domestic or pet animals is subject to the following provisions:
(1) Except as expressly provided otherwise in the instrument creating the trust, no portion of the principal or income of the trust may be converted to the use of the trustee or to a use other than for the trust's purposes or for the benefit of a covered animal.
(2) Upon termination, the trustee shall transfer the unexpended trust property in the following order:
(A) as directed in the trust instrument;
(B) if there is no such direction in the trust instrument and if the trust was created in a non-residuary clause in the transferor's will, then under the residuary clause in the transferor's will; or
(C) if no taker is produced by the application of subparagraph (A) or (B), then to the transferor's heirs, determined according to Section 2-1 of the Probate Act of 1975.
(3) The intended use of the principal or income may be enforced by an individual designated for that purpose in the trust instrument or, if none, by an individual appointed by a court having jurisdiction of the matter and parties, upon petition to it by an individual.
(4) Except as ordered by the court or required by the trust instrument, no filing, report, registration, periodic accounting, separate maintenance of funds, appointment, or fee is required by reason of the existence of the fiduciary relationship of the trustee.
(5) The court may reduce the amount of the property transferred if it determines that the amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use. The amount of the reduction, if any, passes as unexpended trust property under paragraph (2).
(6) If a trustee is not designated or no designated trustee is willing and able to serve, the court shall name a trustee. The court may order the transfer of the property to another trustee if the transfer is necessary to ensure that the intended use is carried out, and if a successor trustee is not designated in the trust instrument or if no designated successor trustee agrees to serve and is able to serve. The court may also make other orders and determinations as are advisable to carry out the intent of the transferor and the purpose of this Section.
(7) The trust is exempt from the operation of the common law rule against perpetuities.
P.A. 78-625, § 15.2, added by P.A. 93-668, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.
5/4.26. Small trust termination
§ 4.26. Small trust termination. To terminate the trust and distribute the trust estate, including principal and accrued and undistributed income, if the trustee determines, in the trustee's sole discretion with the consent of the recipients, that the market value of a trust is less than $100,000 and that the costs of continuing the trust will substantially impair accomplishment of the purpose of the trust.
Distribution shall be made to the persons then entitled to receive or eligible to have the benefit of the income from the trust in the proportions in which they are entitled thereto, or if their interests are indefinite, to those persons per stirpes if they have a common ancestor, or if not, then in equal shares. The trustee shall give notice to the persons at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the termination.
If a particular trustee is an income beneficiary of the trust or is legally obligated to an income beneficiary, then that particular trustee may not participate as a trustee in the exercise of this termination power; provided, however, that if the trust has one or more co-trustees who are not so disqualified from participating, the co-trustee or co-trustees may exercise this power.
This Section shall not apply to the extent that it would cause a trust otherwise qualifying for a federal or State tax benefit or other benefit not to so qualify, nor shall it apply to trusts for domestic or pet animals.
The provisions of this amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly apply to all trusts created before, on, or after its effective date.
P.A. 78-625, § 4.26, added by P.A. 95-605, § 5, eff. June 1, 2008.