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Great Apes and the Law

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Wills and Trusts Issues Related to Companion Animals (2008)
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Brief Overview of Pet Trust Laws (2008)

Overview of Uniform Trust Act of 2000 with Links to Adopting States


Legal IntroductionAn Introduction to Pet in Wills and Pet Euthanasia, by Suzette Daniels, Animal Legal & Historical Center, 2004.

New! Ensure Your Pets Future: Estate Planning for Owners and Their Animal Companions, by Rachel Hirschfeld, 9 Marq. Elder's Advisor 155 (2007).

Pet Animals:  What Happens When Their Humans Die? by Gerry W. Beyer, 40 Santa Clara L. Rev. 617 (2000).

Separation, Custody, and Estate Planning Issues Relating to Companion Animals, by Rebecca J. Huss, 74 Colo. L. Rev. 181 (2003)

Map of States that have enacted Pet Trust Laws (39 states to date)

Uniform Trust Code § 408 (available through

Table of Statutes, Legislation, and Voter Initiatives Related to Companion Animal Estate Planning Issues

For actual legal pleadings related to trusts see the Brand Case.

Related Links

Estate Planning for Pets Website (

Estate Planning for Pets - Sample Language for Statutory Pet Trust

The National Cockatiel Society - Sample Pet Trust by Professor Gerry Beyer - As stated on the website, "The Hirschfeld Pet Protection Agreement is a contract between you and anyone you choose. As a low-cost, yet effective, alternative to a pet trust, the document allows you to leave detailed instructions for the care of your pet if you become ill or die."


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