Should you provide for your pet in your will?

Have you thought about what will happen when you've gone?

We all know we need to make a will. It’s the best way to express your wishes over who gets left with your lifelong possessions when you’re gone.

We often state who’ll get our hard-earned assets but what about our much loved pets? Did you even know the law considers your pets to be personal property? It’s easy to overlook our furry friends but you can include them in your will.

You even have a few options to choose from: 

  • You can leave them to a trustworthy friend or relative to look after.
  • You can leave money to a charity who will ensure your pet is looked after.
  • You can leave money in the will to allow for the care an maintenance of your pet, for whoever takes on the role.
  • You can opt for euthanasia.

Read more: Is it cruel to buy a new, young pet in old age? 

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Having a pet is a huge responsibility, so thought also needs to go into who you’d leave your pet to. You certainly don’t want it to be an unwelcome surprise, so it pays to talk the issue through first. 

You also need to think of your pet. How are they going to cope in the new circumstances too? Will the new home be suitable too?

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Then theres the charity option. You’d need to make sure you find the right one who’ll do what you expect with the money you leave. There are number of options out there, from legacy programs to animal rescue groups, so it pays to do your research.

Same applies to cash being bequeathed. Will it be enough for the care for the rest of your pet’s life, and will it be spent on the right things? You’ll need to leave instructions as to what your wishes are, including what happens to any money left over once your pet dies too. A trust must comply with certain rules so you need to get legal advice before choosing this option.

The last option might well be a last resort for some, but it could potentially be the best one, under certain circumstances. If the pet is old or unwell, and requires certain medicines and treatments, it might actually be the kindest option.

What do you think? Have you thought about your pet in your will already or have you made other arrangements? Do you think it’s fair to ask someone else to look after you animals? Is money enough?

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and for information purposes only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not financial product advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any financial decision you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from an independent licensed financial services professional.