You probably completely adore your pet and take excellent care of your furry or slithery friend but what will happen to them after you are gone? You may not have given this issue much though unless you are elderly but it would be a good idea to decide who you would like to take responsibility for your pet.
It is important that you have a will, whether or not you own any pets. If you don’t currently have a will, get one written professionally and as soon as possible. You can then take the opportunity to make a provision for your animal or animals. If your current will does not mention your pets it should be updated to include them.
The law currently considers pets to be personal chattels. This means that unless specific provisions for them are made in your will, they simply form a part of your estate and pass to your residuary beneficiary. But that person may not want your pet and might not be in a good position to look after it.
Who Will Inherit your Pet?
To avoid confusion and to protect your pet’s welfare, it is far better to stipulate exactly who will assume ownership. You can also leave a pecuniary legacy to that person to pay for your pet’s care after you have passed on. This will ensure that your bequest does not result in financial hardship for the beneficiary. However, if you do not wish to leave money to that person unless they are to care for your pet, your will should state that the pecuniary legacy will fail if your pet does not survive you.
It’s Good to Talk
You may know who you would like to care for your animal if anything happens to you, but you should talk to them about your plans before your will is written. It is important that your beneficiary is happy with your idea. If they were to refuse to take on your pet after your death, your animal would then pass to the residuary beneficiary.
Leave Your Pet to a Charity
If you do not have a suitable friend or family member to care for your pet in the event of your death, you could also consider leaving the animal to a charity for rehoming. It would also be a good idea to leave some money to the charity if you decide on this course of action.
Nobody enjoys having to contemplate their own death, but it is important to have suitable arrangements in place for your pet.