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Animal Law

Estate Planning

It's estimated that Americans will spend around $143.6 billion on their pets in 2023 (up from $136.8 billion they spent in 2022), and many of those people will want to make provisions for the care of their pets if they no longer can. This page will help the researcher locate secondary sources regarding animals in an estate planning context.

Check the Pennsylvania Wills, Trusts and Estates guide for treatises, sample forms, laws, and other materials that could impact estate planning involving animals.

Treatises and Practice Aids

The following member databases include information related to animals and estate planning. Members must be logged in to to access these databases. These databases are also available in the library.

Animal Law in a Nutshell
Available on West Academic Digital Library.
Previous editions available in print and through West Academic Digital Library.
See Chapter 8, Wills and Trusts.

Animal Rights Law Journal Library
Available on HeinOnline.

Every Dog's Legal Guide
Available on Nolo. See Chapter 10: Providing for Pets.

PA Legal Forms
Includes a short and long form of "Bequest in Trust for the Care and Maintenance of Pet".
In the search box at the top of the screen, search for pet trust. Additional forms may be available in the category for "Animals".

The following print resources include information related to animals and estate planning. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

American Jurisprudence Legal Forms West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
Use the index to find relevant sections - under Wills, see Animals.

Animal Law in a Nutshell West Academic
See Chapter 8: Wills and Trusts.
Also available in West Academic Digital Library.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers.
See Forms 65.02-24 to 65.02-24.3: Gifts to Benefit Animals.

Legal Guide for Dog Owners American Bar Association
See Chapter 6: When Your Dog Is Left Without You.

Litigating Animal Law Disputes American Bar Association
See Chapter 3, Part IV: Planning for the Continued Care of Pets.

Pennsylvania Animal Law Handbook Bisel
See Chapter 9: Estate Planning.
Includes forms.

Pet Law and Custody: Establishing a Worthy and Equitable Jurisprudence for the Evolving Family American Bar Association
See Chapter 4: Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts.

PBI Publications are designed around the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's continuing legal education courses. When a researcher has difficulty finding an answer in the manuals or form books, it is a good idea to turn to a PBI publication for guidance.

11th Annual Animal Law Conference
See Chapter 5: Estate Planning for Pets.
Includes forms.

12th Annual Animal Law Conference
See Chapter 5: Animals in Your Life - Five Things You Need to Know About Pets in Divorce and Estate Planning.
Includes forms.

Equine Law
See Chapter 2: Estate Planning for the Equine Family.