SB 685, the Pet Trust Bill, will make pet trusts valid and enforceable in California
San Francisco SPCA president Jan McHugh-Smith hails the state Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous passage of SB 685, The Pet Trust Bill, on Jan. 15.
“The eventual passage of this bill will bring California into line with the majority of other states which already have enforceable pet trust laws,” McHugh-Smith noted. “It will also bring great peace of mind to pet guardians who wish to ensure continuing care for their companion animals should they predecease them.”
The Pet Trust Bill is sponsored by the SF/SPCA and carried by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). The bill is also supported by the Humane Society of the United States, WildCare, The Marin Humane Society, the San Francisco Dog Owners Group (SFDOG), and other advocacy groups.
A legal pet trust protects companion animals and ensures that they receive the continuing care for which their owner/guardians planned. Currently, although California has recognized pet trusts for many years, these are only “honorary” trusts with no enforcement capability. SB 685 will make pet trust law consistent with other trust law by requiring trustees to carry out trust instructions regarding pets, and by incorporating oversight to guarantee performance.
SB 685 must now be heard and passed by the State Senate by Feb. 25. It will next be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee before moving into the Assembly for passage. The bill will then go to the Governor for consideration to be signed into law.
About time! /Gary