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Animal Care Trust Example

The following is a copy of our animal trust within our living trust.   We did not have anyone specific that would take on the care of our animals so we contacted the no-kill shelter from which two of our dogs were adopted to take the animals into their care and find foster homes for them.   We left enough money to care for them and provide compensation to the caregiver.   By putting them into permanent foster care and not adopting them out, the humane society retains ownership, oversight and control of the dogs.   Wouldn't want to adopt one out and then have it put to sleep.   Not all states recognize animal trusts but there is still some information here that could be included in a will.   Just something to think about.


                 Specific Distribution to Animal Care Trust for MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY


We currently have the following Pets:


Upon the death of JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, our Trustee shall set aside $###,###.## cash dollars in trust for the care of our Pets MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY .  

These animals, hereafter referred to as our Pets, serve as our dearest companions. Pursuant to the provisions of Oregon Revised Statute section 128.308, we direct our Trustee to establish an Animal Care Trust ("Trust") with $###,### from our Trust Assets for the benefit of these Pets and shall also include any other surviving Pets we own when the survivor of us dies.   The Trust shall be formally held and administered as a separate legal trust for the care of our Pets as follows:

Administration of Trust

Our Trustee shall, from time to time during the term of this trust, distribute as much of the net income and principal of the trust as our Trustee determines advisable to provide for the health, maintenance and support of our Pets under the Animal Care Trust.   We desire that our Trustee provide a home and care through the SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY ("Foster Care Provider") foster care program including, but not limited to, veterinary care, food, shelter, love and affection for MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY for the remainder of each of our Pets natural life.

Our Trustee may make distributions directly to SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY and/or the foster caregiver(s) selected by the SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY or our Trustee or by direct payment to the foster caregiver(s) for the expenses of our Pets.

Except as otherwise provided in this Article, no portion of the principal and income may be converted to the use of the SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY, Foster Caregiver, or Trustee, other than for reasonable Foster Care Provider fees, Pets foster care fees, Trustee fees and expenses of administration, or to any use other than for the trust's purposes or for the benefit of our Pets under the Animal Care Trust.

Care and Custody for Our Pets

Upon the death of JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, our Trustee shall place MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY with SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY pursuant to their program for pets foster care.   In the event SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY, is no longer in existence or no longer maintains a pets foster care program, our Trustee shall find a good pets foster care program or a home or homes for MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY for the remainder of each of our Pets natural lives.   If necessary our Trustee may establish a Pets Panel to provide guidance and oversight to our Trustee and SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY or any organization selected by our Trustee to take care of our Pets .   Any person named in this paragraph may decline to serve as a member of our Pets Panel, or decline to participate in making a determination of in a specific instance, by providing written notice to our Trustee. If a Panel member declines to serve, the remaining Panel members shall continue to serve without the withdrawing member.

General Care Guidelines

Without in any way limiting the discretion of our Trustee regarding distributions of income and principal from this trust share, or the placement of our Pets subject to this trust, we declare to our Trustee that the primary purpose of this trust is to provide a warm, caring, familiar and loving environment for our Pets for the remainder of their lives, including good nutrition, exercise and veterinary care and attention.   Preservation of principal is not as important as accomplishing these objectives.

It is important that our Pets remain in the pet foster care program of the SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY or such other pet foster care organization selected by our Trustee .   Our Trustee shall make sure that some of our personal articles remain with our Pets so that the scent of the articles provides a degree of familiarity and comfort.

Our Trustee is authorized to use the income and to the extent necessary, the principal, of this trust share for our Pets care, maintenance and general expenses.   Our Trustee may contract and pay the expenses of proper veterinary care and treatment for our Pets.   Our Trustee shall ensure that our Pets receive the medication and proper shots when necessary to maintain their good health.   Our Trustee should ensure that the Foster Care Provider does not leave our Pets outdoors in unusually cold, wet or hot weather.   Our Pets should be kept inside during inclement weather.

It is not enough to just feed our Pets.   Our Pets need to be well-loved and nurtured.   The Foster Care Provider shall periodically check with the Foster Caregiver that the Foster Care Provider has selected, to insure that each is providing our Pets with lots of affection, attention and care.

Our Pets are never to be placed in a kennel.   If the Foster Caregiver is unable to temporarily care for our Pets, the Foster Caregiver must arrange with the Foster Care Provider for a responsible and caring live-in Pet-sitter to care for our Pets in the Foster Caregiver's absence.

The Foster Caregiver shall ensure that our dogs are walked at least once a day and that every Pet has plenty of playtime and exercise.   The Foster Caregiver shall ensure that each of our Pets receives monthly grooming from a professional groomer.   Our Trustee and Foster Care Provider shall make every effort to ensure that our Pets are never used for medical research or product testing or painful experimentation under any circumstances.  

Our Foster Care Provider shall make follow-up home visits on a regular basis to ensure that each of our Pets is receiving proper care under these guidelines.

We also request that our pets never be adopted by our Foster Care Provider.

If we have left additional instructions for the care of our Pets, they are attached on Schedule D and shall be incorporated and included in this Article.

Distribution on the Death of MAGGIE, POSSUM and JOEY

Upon the death of MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY, all remaining undistributed net income and principal of the trust share set aside for the care of MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY shall be distributed to SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY, currently located in Albany, Oregon, free of trust.   If MAGGIE, POSSUM, and JOEY are not alive at the death of JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE , this specific distribution shall lapse and our Trustee shall be distributed to SAFEHAVEN HUMANE SOCIETY free of trust.   This specific distribution shall be free and clear of all expenses, claims, liens, encumbrances and taxes (other than Death Taxes) relative to this specific distribution.   In addition to other exonerations of this specific distribution, if any, this specific distribution shall bear no Death Taxes.

In the event a charitable organization is named as a beneficiary and such organization is no longer in existence or no longer qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under Sections 170(c), 2055, and 2522 of the Code, our Trustee shall distribute the trust share for such charitable organization to such charitable organization or organizations as our Trustee, in our Trustee's discretion, determines most closely matches our charitable intent.

Contingent Provision/Rule Against Perpetuities

This trust and its Trustee shall be subject to the laws of the State of Oregon applying to trusts and trustees, now in effect or as amended.   Any property held in the Animal Care Trust or the trust itself shall not be subject to any statutory or common law rule against perpetuities.

If this trust fails for any purpose, we direct that the funds be paid outright to the Trustee, or to the Foster Care Provider if the Trust cannot accept the funds, as the case may be, to be administered and managed in a constructive trust under the terms of this Article, for the benefit of our Pets.

Memorial Instructions

After a Pet has died, its body should be cremated and its ashes scattered at a meaningful location selected by the Foster Care Provider.


Page last update: 09/04/2011

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