As anyone with a pet will agree, they quickly become part of the family and hold a special place in our hearts. Like any other family member, it is therefore important to think about what will happen to your pets if you were to die before them.
Who will look after your fur baby if you were to die?
Particular thought should be given to the age and capability of the person left holding the fur baby, as well as their personal circumstance, such as, could they physically take on your pet or do they live in a ‘pet free’ property.
If you have any concerns about this it may be worthwhile considering a substitute carer, be it another family member, friend or neighbour, or an appropriate animal charity. Many charities have schemes available to people in order for pets to be rehomed on death.
Should you leave a gift of cash to help support your fur baby?
It is also worth considering whether the person charged with the care of your pets can afford this, or whether it would be necessary to leave a cash gift to them to assist with the cost of care and vet bills and insurance, or to show your gratitude for their help.
If you require the assistance of a charity in rehoming your fur baby, then again you may wish to consider leaving a gift to that charity to assist in meeting the cost of rehoming.
Can you leave everything to your fur baby?
Anyone with a pet at the centre of their universe may wish to consider leaving everything they own to their fur babies. Karl Lagerfield being a case in point. His cat “Choupette” being left his fortune recently. This can be done, but often raises rather tricky and often technical questions and specialist advice about this is therefore recommended.
What if you get more pets in the future?
Whilst we can never replace the pets that die before us, new additions to the family can occur over time. It is therefore worth considering whether a more general gift of “my pet dogs”, “my pet cats” and such may be more appropriate to give the Will as much longevity as possible.
At Hay & Kilner the expert legal advisers (and experienced pet owners) in our Private Client Team can assist in all aspects of Will and Trust preparation and estate, succession and Inheritance Tax planning.
For more information on any of the above, or how we can help you, please contact Richard (‘the Cat’s meow’) Marshall for more information.
In loving memory of Buzz (PR puss) Marshall. October 2016 to March 2019.