Jeffrey Mills Solicitors
JEFFREY MILLS SOLICITORS
- Who Will Look After Your Pet?
September - November 2018
Have you ever thought about what would happen to your pets if they outlived you?
Approximately 44% of households in the UK have a pet and in 2017 we spent over £4.6 billion on our furry friends.
For many of us, they really are a part of the family and, like other family members, their future interests deserve to be looked after.
Under English law your pets are defined as ‘Personal Chattels’.
If you have a Will, your executors will have the authority to make immediate arrangements for your pets after your death.
You may have heard stories about pets being left large sums of money by their wealthy owners, but this is of course a fallacy because animals cannot legally own property or cash assets.
If you want to provide for your pets’ future care it is possible to put money in trust for this purpose which would be controlled by your chosen trustees but used specifically for the benefit of your pets.
It may be preferable to simply gift your pets to a friend or relative who would take them in and provide them with a new home, but first you should ensure that they are prepared to take on the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Caring for a pet can be expensive, especially if they have been used to a life of luxury with you, and you may like to include a clause in your Will giving an appropriate sum of money to whoever is taking them on, on the condition that they look after your pet for the rest of your pet’s life.
Because people’s circumstances change, it may be advisable to also name a replacement to step in should your first choice not be in a position to provide a loving home.
No Re-homing Option?
If there isn’t anyone close to you who would be able to take your pet, or if your pet requires specialist care that they would be unable to give, many animal charities run re-homing schemes.
The RSPCA pledge to do all they can to find a new home if the care of your pets is handed over to them on your death.
The Cinnamon Trust will also provide long-term or temporary care for pets whose owners have passed away or moved into accommodation that will not accept pets.
The Dogs Trust runs a Canine Care Card Scheme and The Cats Protection an Emergency Cat Care Scheme, both of which provide you with a card, similar to a donor card, which will alert emergency services to the fact that there are pets which need attention.
If you are registered with them, once they are notified of your death, or incapacity, they will arrange for your dog or cat to be taken into their nearest re-homing centre.
If you do not make specific arrangements for your pets’ care they will pass with the remainder of your personal chattels and may end up being the responsibility of someone who will not want them and will not know what to do with them.
If you would like to speak to us about how you can provide for your pets in your Will, Please contact Julie Plumb, Legal Executive at Jeffrey Mills Solicitors St Ives on Tel: 01480 495616 or Email: if you would like more information on the subjects in this article or to arrange an appointment.
Should you require legal assistance from a firm with family values and a fresh approach, contact Jeffrey Mills Solicitors.
Tel: 01480 219600