AB 1520, as amended, Gatto. Guardians ad litem: animals.
Existing law establishes requirements for the establishment and termination of a trust for the care of an animal.
Existing law authorizes a court to appoint a guardian ad litem at any stage of a proceeding under the Probate Code to represent the interest of specified persons, if the court determines that representation of the interest otherwise would be inadequate.
This bill would authorize a court to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interest of an animal for which a trust has been established if the court determines that representation of the interest otherwise would be inadequate.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
(a) The court may, on its own motion or on request of
4a personal representative, guardian, conservator, trustee, or other
5interested person, appoint a guardian ad litem at any stage of a
6proceeding under this code to represent the interest of any of the
7following persons, if the court determines that representation of
8the interest otherwise would be inadequate:
9(1) A minor.
10(2) An incapacitated person.
11(3) An unborn person.
12(4) An unascertained person.
13(5) A person whose identity or address is unknown.
14(6) A designated class of persons who are not ascertained or are
15not in being.
22 If not precluded by a conflict of interest, a guardian ad litem
23may be appointed to represent several persons or interests.
25 The reasonable expenses of the guardian ad litem, including
26compensation and attorney’s fees, shall be determined by the court
27and paid as the court orders, either out of the property of the estate
28involved or by the petitioner or from such other source as the court
Section 15212 of the Probate Code is amended to read:
(a) Subject to the requirements of this section, a trust
33for the care of an animal is a trust for a lawful noncharitable
34purpose. Unless expressly provided in the trust, the trust terminates
35when no animal living on the date of the settlor’s death remains
36alive. The governing instrument of the animal trust shall be
37liberally construed to bring the trust within this section, to presume
38against the merely precatory or honorary nature of the disposition,
P3 1and to carry out the general intent of the settlor. Extrinsic evidence
2is admissible in determining the settlor’s intent.
3(b) A trust for the care of an animal is subject to the following
5(1) Except as expressly provided otherwise in the trust
6instrument, the principal or income shall not be converted to the
7use of the trustee or to any use other than for the benefit of the
9(2) Upon termination of the trust, the trustee shall distribute the
10unexpended trust property in the following order:
11(A) As directed in the trust instrument.
12(B) If the trust was created in a nonresiduary clause in the
13settlor’s will or in a codicil to the settlor’s will, under the residuary
14clause in the settlor’s will.
15(C) If the application of subparagraph (A) or (B) does not result
16in distribution of unexpended trust property, to the settlor’s heirs
17under Section 21114.
18(3) For the purposes of Section 21110, the residuary clause
19described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) shall be treated as
20creating a future interest under the terms of a trust.
21(c) The intended use of the principal or income may be enforced
22by a person designated for that purpose in the trust instrument or,
23if none is designated, by a person appointed by a court. In addition
24to a person identified in subdivision (a) of Section 17200, any
25person interested in the welfare of the animal or any nonprofit
26charitable organization that has as its principal activity the care of
27animals may petition the court regarding the trust as provided in
28Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 5.
29(d) If a trustee is not designated or no designated or successor
30trustee is willing or able to serve, a court shall name a trustee. A
31court may order the transfer of the trust property to a
32 court-appointed trustee, if it is required to ensure that the intended
33use is carried out and if a successor trustee is not designated in the
34trust instrument or if no designated successor trustee agrees to
35serve or is able to serve. A court may also make all other orders
36and determinations as it shall deem advisable to carry out the intent
37of the settlor and the purpose of this section.
38(e) The accountings required by Section 16062 shall be provided
39to the beneficiaries who would be entitled to distribution if the
40animal were then deceased and to any nonprofit charitable
P4 1corporation that has as its principal activity the care of animals
2and that has requested these accountings in writing. However, if
3the value of the assets in the trust does not exceed forty thousand
4dollars ($40,000), no filing, report, registration, periodic
5accounting, separate maintenance of funds, appointment, or fee is
6required by reason of the existence of the fiduciary relationship
7of the trustee, unless ordered by the court or required by the trust
9(f) Any beneficiary, any person designated by the trust
10instrument or the court to enforce the trust, or any nonprofit
11charitable corporation that has as its principal activity the care of
12animals may, upon reasonable request, inspect the animal, the
13premises where the animal is maintained, or the books and records
14of the trust.
15(g) A trust governed by this section is not subject to termination
16pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 15408.
17(h) Section 15211 does not apply to a trust governed by this
19(i) The court may, on its own motion or on request of the trustee
20or any person or organization authorized to petition the court
21regarding the trust pursuant to subdivision (c), appoint a guardian ad litem to represent
23the interest of the animal if the court determines that representation
24of the interest otherwise would be inadequate. The reasonable
25expenses of the guardian ad litem, including compensation and
26attorney’s fees, shall be determined by the court and paid as the
27court orders, either out of the trust or from another source as the
29(j) For purposes of this section, “animal” means a domestic or
30pet animal for the benefit of which a trust has been established.