This Michigan statute provides that a trust for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal is valid (these trusts follow the terms for non-charitable trusts and thus, can be of a duration of up to 21 years). The trust terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust. Extrinsic evidence is admissible to prove the transferor's intent and the court may reduce the amount of the property transferred if it determines that that amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use.
Sec. 2722. (1) Except as provided by another statute and subject to subsection (3), if a trust is for a specific lawful noncharitable purpose or for lawful noncharitable purposes to be selected by the trustee, and if there is no definite or definitely ascertainable beneficiary designated, the trust may be performed by the trustee for 21 years, but no longer, whether or not the terms of the trust contemplate a longer duration.
(2) Subject to this subsection and subsection (3), a trust for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal 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 subsection, to presume against the merely precatory or honorary nature of the disposition, and to carry out the general intent of the transferor. Extrinsic evidence is admissible in determining the transferor's intent.
(3) In addition to the provisions of subsection (1) or (2), a trust covered by either of those subsections is subject to the following provisions:
(a) Except as expressly provided otherwise in the terms of the trust, no portion of the principal or income 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.
(b) Upon termination, the trustee shall transfer the unexpended trust property in the following order:
(i) As directed in the terms of the trust.
(ii) To the settlor, if then living.
(iii) 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.
(iv) If no taker is produced by the application of subparagraph (i), (ii), or (iii), to the transferor's heirs under section 2720. [FN1]
(c) For the purposes of sections 2714 to 2716, [FN2] the residuary clause is treated as creating a future interest under the terms of a trust.
(d) The intended use of the principal or income may be enforced by an individual designated for that purpose in the terms of the trust or, if none, by an individual appointed by a court upon petition to it by an individual. A person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or remove a person appointed.
(e) Except as ordered by the court or required by the terms of the trust, 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.
(f) The court may reduce the amount of the property transferred if it determines that that amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use. The amount of the reduction, if any, passes as unexpended trust property under subdivision (b).
(g) If a trustee is not designated 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, and if a successor trustee is not designated in the terms of the trust or if no designated successor trustee agrees to serve or 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.
(h) The trust is not subject to the uniform statutory rule against perpetuities, 1988 PA 418, MCL 554.71 to 554.78.
P.A.1998, No. 386, § 2722, Eff. April 1, 2000. Amended by P.A.2009, No. 46, Eff. April 1, 2010.
[FN1] M.C.L.A. § 7002720.
[FN2] M.C.L.A. §§ 700.2714 to 700.2716.