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California Bill to Protect “Pet Trusts”

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Remember back in August 2007 when it was revealed that billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley bequeathed $12 million to her Maltese, Trouble, and did not bequeath a cent to her two grandchildren? (I still find that ridiculous and somewhat appalling.) Well, it seems her example has led California to pass a bill, (SB 685 for those of you who were wondering), making bequests for the care of animal enforceable in California. Before the bill that was signed Tuesday by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California law held pet trusts to be honorary trusts which means they were often not enforced. The new law will take effect January 1, 2009. Supporters of the bill, including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, are in favor of the bill because so many Americans have pets and do not always have a friend or relative who can care for the pet in the event of their passing. Opponents of the bill, such as Taxpayer activist Lew Uhler ridiculed California lawmakers for concerning themselves with pet trusts when the state is facing a $15-billion budget deficit and may cut funds for children. Oh, and if you were wondering, a New York City surrogate judge reduced Trouble’s trust fund to $2 million. I hope the Maltese doesn’t miss that extra $10 million. I’m on the side of the bill’s opponents for this one. It seems that making pet trusts enforceable should be at the bottom of the list for lawmakers in a state plagued with wildfires, a foreclosure crisis, a huge deficit, and etc.

-Amanda Giffi

  1. Nephews will soon be putting contracts out on poodles. File that comment away and wait for the first pinch on that charge.

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