Maryland Authorizes Pet Trusts

On April 14, 2009, Maryland’s Governor O’Malley signed into law House Bill 149 which authorizes statutory pet trusts.

Professor Berry gives us some of the key features of the statute in this post:

  • The animal must be alive during the settlor’s lifetime.  [Est. & Trusts § 14-112(A)]
  • The trust ends at the death of the last animal covered by the trust.  [§ 14-112(B)]
  • If the settlor did not appoint someone to enforce the trust, the court may appointed an enforcer.  [§ 14-112(C)(1)]
  • A person with an interest in the welfare of the animal may ask the court to appoint an enforce or to remove an enforcer who is not doing his/her job.  [§ 14-112(C)(2)]
  • Trust property may be used only for the pet’s benefit unless the court finds that the value of the trust property is excessive.  [§ 14-112(D)(1)]
  • If the settlor did not provide express directions, excess trust property passes to the settlor (if still alive) or to the settlor’s successors in interest if the settlor is dead.  [§ 14-112(D)(2)]
  • These provisions apply only to pet trusts created on or after October 1, 2009.  [H.B. 149, § 2]
  • The Rule Against Perpetutities does not apply to pet trusts.  [§ 110102(b)(12)]

Thanks again Professor.  How did I ever bog without you?!

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