Providing for your pets in your Will

Our primary concern when making a Will is often to provide for our family and close friends, but does that include your pets too?

It is common for pet owners to pass away leaving their pets without a home to go to. It is fairly straightforward to solve this problem by making provision in your Will for the care of your pets.

The law is rather archaic and classes pets as personal chattels (possessions). You cannot therefore leave a gift in your Will to your pet, as they are unable to take valid receipt of money.

Similarly, it is unwise to leave your pet(s) to a friend or relative without discussing it with them first, as you will be imposing a financial obligation on that person to take care of your pet for the rest of its life or that person’s life. Discussing it with them will allow them to consider whether they will be able to take your pet on both financially and practically.

When thinking about who will take care of your pet(s) after your death you should think about leaving a cash sum for that person with it being conditional upon them looking after your pet.

With that being said, you should always have a plan B in mind should that person predecease you or is unable or unwilling to take up the responsibility of caring for your pet.

Finally, it may be wise to have a plan C, with the ultimate destination of your pet being an animal charity where you can rest assured that its welfare will be guaranteed going forward.

Consideration should be taken especially with regards to the type of animal you own, as it is not uncommon for pets such as horses or tortoises to outlive their owners.

For the most up-to-date information and advice tailored to your personal circumstances, speak to a member of our Private Client team today or book your appointment today.

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