In 2011, Massachusetts enacted this law, which allows the creation of a trust for the continuing care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the last animal named in the trust. A court may reduce the amount of property held by the trust if it determines that the amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use and the court finds that there will be no substantial adverse impact in the care, maintenance, health or appearance of the covered animal. The statute was renumbered in 2012.
§ 408. Trust for care of an animal
Trust for care of an animal
(a) A trust for the care of animals alive during the settlor's lifetime shall be valid. Unless the trust instrument provides for an earlier termination, the trust shall terminate upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than 1 animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of last surviving animal.
(b) Except as otherwise expressly provided in the trust instrument, no portion of the principal or income shall be converted to the use of the trustee, other than reasonable trustee fees and expenses of administration, or to any use other than for the benefit of covered animals.
(c) A court may reduce the amount of property held by the trust if it determines that the amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use and the court finds that there will be no substantial adverse impact in the care, maintenance, health or appearance of the covered animal. The amount of the reduction shall pass as unexpended trust property in accordance with subsection (d).
(d) Upon reduction or termination, the trustee shall transfer the unexpended trust property in the following order:
(1) as directed in the trust instrument;
(2) to the settlor, if living;
(3) if the trust was created in a nonresiduary clause in the transferor's will or in a codicil to the transferor's will, under the residuary clause in the transferor's will or codicil; or
(4) to the settlor's heirs in accordance with chapter 190B.
(e) If a trustee is not designated by the trust instrument or no designated trustee is willing or 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. The court may also make other orders and determinations as the court deems advisable to carry out the intent of the settlor and the intended use of the trust.
(f) The intended use of the principal or income may be enforced by an individual designated for that purpose in the trust instrument, by the person having custody of an animal for which care is provided by the trust instrument, by a remainder beneficiary or by an individual appointed by the court upon application of an individual or charitable organization.
(g) The settlor or other custodian of an animal for whose benefit a trust was created may transfer custody of the animal to the trustee at or subsequent to the creation of the trust.
<[ Subsection (h) applicable as provided by 2012, 140, Sec. 62.]>
(h) Any trust created under this section shall be subject to sections 2-901 to 2-906, inclusive, of chapter 190B, and the common law rule against perpetuities; provided, however, that the life or lives in being shall be measured based on the animal or animals alive at the time of the settlor's death or when the trust becomes irrevocable. The measuring lives shall be those of the beneficiary animals, not human lives.
Added by St.2012, c. 140, § 56, eff. July 8, 2012.