Under the eyes of the law, pets are considered as property similar to your car or electronic devices. They will form part of the residue of your estate, the pot of money and belongings at the end of administering your estate after the payment of any debts or funeral and testamentary expenses. You might not have thought about what steps you can take to ensure your beloved pets are looked after following your death. RG Law would be happy to help guide you through the process of how to protect your pets after your death.
You may want to consider appointing someone to look after your pets to ensure they are taken care of for the remainder of their lifetimes. There are a number of options that you can include in your Will for the provision of your pets. Firstly, you will need to consider whether any one you know and trust would want to look after your pets when you die. If there is someone you know and trust, you can create a gift in your Will leaving your pets to that particular person. If that person is unable or unwilling to look after your pet, you can appoint a substitute beneficiary to look after your pet.
If you are worried about the person you chose to look after your pet not having sufficient funds to care for your pet, you can leave a cash gift to cover the cost of caring for your pets for things such as vets bills and the general maintenance of your pet. This gift can be stipulated so that it only takes affect if that person does take in and look after your pet.
If you struggle to find someone that you trust to take over caring for your pet, you can request that your pet is looked after by a relevant animal charity of your choice. They will look after your pets in the event that following your death they are likely to become homeless. You can also leave a cash gift to the charity to cover the maintenance costs of looking after your pets.
You will be able to ensure that any future pets are taken care of following your death by including certain wording that takes into account any pet you own at the date of your death. This will therefore mean that you would not need to update your Will in the future if you have other pets to those named in your Will. If you do not have any pets on your death, this clause will be ignored in your Will.
If you would like to make a Will that ensures your fluffy companions are taken care of, RG Law would be happy to assist you. Please contact us on 01904 234 091 or 0208 2699901 to make your initial enquiry to have one of our fixed fee Wills prepared by us.