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Wisconsin Pet Trusts

Horn & Johnsen SC > Horn & Johnsen News  > Wisconsin Pet Trusts

Wisconsin Pet Trusts

The Attorneys and staff at Horn & Johnsen SC know that our pets are friends, companions and family rather than property.

>Unfortunately, Wisconsin law views our pets as property. The bottom line is: without written instructions of your wishes, your “property” can be legally destroyed. Every hour of everyday 50 companion animals are euthanized in US animal shelters simply because their human companions died and made no arrangements for their continuous care.

Moreover, informal arrangements are not enforceable.  Leaving your pet and some cash to a beneficiary in your will could result in the pet being euthanized and the money being pocketed.

In 1990, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws added a section to the Uniform Probate Code to validate “a trust for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal and the animal’s offspring.”

Currently many states including California, Oregon, Alaska, Kentucky, New York, and Wisconsin enforce pet trusts; that is, monies and/or property set aside to care for an animal.

Pet owners who live in Wisconsin can now easily include pet trusts the in their estate plans.  These are legally enforceable and will help your pet to get the care you expected.

Section 701.0408, Wis. Stats. Trust for care of animal.

701.0408(1) (1) A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.

701.0408(2) (2) A trust authorized by this section may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust or, if no person is so appointed, by a person appointed by the court. A person having an interest in the welfare of the animal may request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or to remove a person appointed under this subsection.

701.0408(3) (3) Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to its intended use, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use. Property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor, if then living, otherwise to the settlor’s successors in interest.

Source: New feed