What happens to Max or Fluffy when their owner dies? The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, and Doris Day Animal League have called on Congress to pass legislation that would allow animal guardians to provide lifelong care for their pets who survive them. In response, U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minnesota) introduced legislation that would help dog and cat owners prepare for their pets’ future.
If passed, the Charitable Remainder Pet Trust Act would revise the Internal Revenue Code so that a companion animal may be the beneficiary of a charitable remainder annuity trust. When the animal beneficiary of this trust dies, the remainder interest goes to the charity of choice as indicated in the trust, such as a humane society or animal shelter.
“Sixty-three percent of American households have pets, and up to a quarter of those families include pets in their wills,” said Blumenauer in a statement. “While 39 states and the District of Columbia allow pet trusts, the federal tax code does not recognize them.”