Pet Trust Law and Legal Definition

Pet trust is a trust established for the care and maintenance of a particular animal or group of animals. It can also be established to provide care for a pet after its owner dies. Such trusts stipulate that in the event of a grantor’s disability or death a trustee will hold property (cash) in trust for the benefit of the grantor’s pets. Generally speaking, pet trusts are invalid because animals are incapable of compelling a trustee to act, and animals have no standing in law. However pet trusts are statutorily recognized in some states in the U.S.

The following is an example of a State Statute (Colorado) on Pet Trust:

The relevant law in part reads as follows:

C.R.S. 15-11-901

(2) Trust for pets is a trust for the care of designated domestic or pet animals and the animals' offspring in gestation is valid. The determination of the "animals' offspring in gestation" is made at the time the designated domestic or pet animals become present beneficiaries of the trust. Unless the trust instrument provides for an earlier termination, 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 (2), 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. Any trust under this subsection (2) shall be an exception to any statutory or common law rule against perpetuities.