Looking after your woofed ones in your Will
Posted on 1st July 2022 at 11:10
A Will is an important document in someone’s life in order for them to distribute their assets and provide for their loved ones after they pass. So, it is important for us to consider the extent to which you can look after and provide for not only your loved ones, but also your pets when you die.
What can I leave to my pets?
Your pet is an asset of your estate so would not be able to be appointed as a beneficiary. Therefore, in terms of gifts of money or property, if you leave any of these to your pet in your will, then the gift will fail. It is important that you only leave gifts to humans and companies or charities.
Instead of directly leaving gifts to your pets, you may choose to leave some money in a trust for a specific individual, this can then be used to provide and care for your pet.
It may be a good idea to leave a letter of wishes outlining the way in which you would like the money to be used. Although there is no obligation for an individual to comply with your letter of wishes, it may be useful to help them understand your reasoning for leaving the money. You may also choose to outline in a letter of wishes the routine of your pet and the vets in which they are registered.
What if my pet dies before the money is used?
You must consider how much would be an appropriate amount to leave for the care of your pet. It may be useful to consider the following factors:
• The age of your pet
• The health of your pet
• The needs of your pet
You may wish to add a clause into your Will to allocate any left-over money should your pet not receive the full benefit of it. It might be a good idea to allocate any remaining funds to the individual who has cared for your pet after your passing. You may also wish to donate any left-over money to an animal charity in order to help with the care of other animals who may have lost their owners.
What will happen to my pet after I pass?
When making provisions for who will care for your pet, it is important that you consider which beneficiary is the most responsible and willing to care for your pet.
You could have a conversation with your family to determine if any of them are willing and have the ability to accommodate for your pet when the time comes. You may wish to leave that person with a gift of money to thank them, and also to use towards the care and maintenance of your pet.
Another option is for you to nominate a charity in which you would like your pet to go, so that they can adequately care for your pet until they are rehomed.
There are many charities that provide for animals after their owner’s pass, but you must ensure to state this in your will:
• The Dogs Trust Canine Care Card – this gives the charity the chance to rehome pets. If a new owner is not found, the charity will look after them for the rest of their lives as they will never put healthy, unwanted dogs down.
• The Cats Protection League Cat Guardians Card – this charity takes cats into a rehoming centre and try to find a new owner. They never put a healthy cat to sleep.
• The Blue Cross Pets into Care Scheme – this charity takes on a variety of animals, not just cats and dogs.
Share this post: