Pets and Your Will-What Happens to Your Pets When You Die?
A guide to why you should include your pet in your will, and the best options for you to consider when doing this
Writing Your Pet into Your Wil:
If you are worried about what will happen to your pet or pets after you die, then you can make provision for them in your Will. Whether you are a young adult looking after your first pet or a well-established family, one option is for you to state that your pet should be looked after by a specific individual or charity. If you intend to do this, it is beneficial to speak to the person or charity you have chosen to look after your pets to ensure that they are happy to do so. By adding your pet into your Will, you are able to provide wish giving directions as to how your pet should be looked after.
Gifting Money To an Individual or Charity to Provide Care for your Pet:
It is possible to gift a specific amount of money to an individual or charity with the provision that the money is to be used to look after and care for your pets. You would not be able to gift a specific amount directly to your animal; for instance, I give £5000 to my dog ‘Bob’ as he would not be able to give a valid legal receipt, however the individual entrusted with the money must use it for the purpose of the pets’ care.
If you would like to include a charity within your Will see our latest article here.
Setting up a Trust for Your Pets Provision:
It is also possible to include a trust in your Will for the maintenance of specific animals. Usually this is used to provide for pets who are likely to live longer and require higher maintenance costs, such as horses. The trust will allow for a specific amount to be held by trustees and used for the animal’s maintenance and upkeep during their life. To find out more about Trustees, read our article: What Is a Trustee?
What to do if you don’t currently have a Will:
Many young people do not have a Will and therefore, don’t have any provisions for pets should they die before them. As soon as you get a pet it is worth setting up a Will as this means your wishes for your pet can be followed, and you can have peace of mind that you have taken care of them no matter what.