Great news for parents of pooches in Massachusetts: Gov. Deval Patrick has signed legislation allowing people to set up trust funds to provide for the care of animal companions who might be left behind when their guardians perish.
The new law allows people to include in their wills an enforceable trust fund with an animal companion as the beneficiary. This type of arrangement can alleviate a lot of anxiety for companion animal guardians who may fear that friends or family members may not be able to cope financially with the responsibility of caring for an animal.
Massachusetts is the 43rd state to sign such a bill into law. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia already have laws allowing people to provide for the care of companion animals in their wills. I have the misfortune of living in one of the few states that does not have such a law. It’s a shame, too, because I would love the peace of mind of knowing that my dogter, Hannah, would be taken care of if anything should happen to me. If you, like me, live in one of the seven states (Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia) that don’t have a law like this, you can write to your representatives and ask them to consider allowing people to include animal companions in their final arrangements.
If you’re looking for a way to continue to help all animals after you are gone, consider a life estate gift to support PETA’s work.