California Aims To Pass Legislation That Protects Pets In The Case Of Owners Death

July 9th, 2008 by Dan

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California is about to find Senate Bill 685 crossing his desk. The legislation is designed to protect companion animals after the death of their owners and see that the wishes of pet owners are upheld after their passing.

The bill was the brainchild of Sen. Leland Yee, (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) who says, “Pets are an important part of the American family. SB 685 will make pet trusts enforceable and assure that the wishes of pet owners are respected.”

Sad Boxer

Photo by crawling.up.the.wall

Right now, pet trusts in California are honorary and thus not enforceable. It is up to the trustees of funds to go about fulfilling the wishes of the trust at their own digression. SB 685 also makes provisions for trustees to hire a guardian for pets if they do not wish to take on the care of the pets as their own responsibility.

Yee continues, “Wills and trusts are the means for people to bestow their possessions and savings as they see fit. Under SB 685, a pet owner will be assured that their pet will be properly cared for after their passing while also ensuring that kin are not burdened with undue pressure.”

One must wonder if this bill came about due to some of the issues stemming from Leona Helmsley and the vast fortune she left to her dog, Trouble, as well as the billions she put into trust to be used to aid animal welfare groups. (read more about that here!)

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