Put your Pet in you Will. Trusts for Cats and Dogs


A common request from clients who are making their wills is the care of their pets. New Jersey is one of the few states that allow for Pet trusts. Sometimes, it is best to bequest a certain amount of money to someone you trust to take care of your loved animal but setting forth an actual trust makes the provision that more certain.

This New Jersey statute Citation: N. J. S. A. 3B:11-38 (2001) provides that a trust for the care of a domesticated animal is valid. Trusts under this section terminate when no living animal is covered by the trust, or at the end of 21 years, whichever occurs earlier. The statute also provides that no portion of the trust’s principal or income may be converted to the use of the trustee or to any use other than for the benefit of the animal designated in the trust. 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.

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