Family with four legs: how to provide for pets in your will

Man on a green grass with dogMaking arrangements for your pet after you pass is something pet owners often forget. There are many ways to make sure your furry friend is provided for when you’re gone.

It can be a confusing and stressful time for a pet when their owner dies. Their favourite person has suddenly disappeared, and they might be moved to another house or city, with new sounds and smells. A previously calm and tolerant pet might become anxious and need time to adjust, but there are no guarantees that the family of the deceased have the time or patience to help them. It’s a heart-breaking thought that your beloved pet could be left in this state. An even worse thought is that they could become homeless. This is why it is essential that you make the proper arrangements for them.

Around 40% of UK households have a pet, but many people forget to include them in their Will – or neglect to make a Will altogether. This means every year, thousands of pets in the UK face an uncertain future when their owner dies. Most of us consider our pets to be a part of the family, so it’s our responsibility to keep them safe – even after we pass on.

At Romain Coleman, our expert Will and Probate solicitors can help you draft a Will ensuring that nothing is left to chance, especially your pets.

What happens to my pet if they are not included in my Will?

If you have a Will but do not give provisions for your pets, they become the legal responsibility of your executors. That being said, your executors are not legally obliged to care for your pets; instead, they can take them to a charity, re-home them, or even put them down.

Here are some precautions you can take to ensure that your beloved pet has a comfortable and secure future:

  • Get a specialist Wills and probate solicitor like Romain Coleman to draft your Will – they can make sure it’s worded correctly and gives the right provisions for your pets.
  • If you want to leave your pet with a specific person, confirm with them that they are willing and able to take your pet.
  • You cannot leave money to your pet, but you can offer funds to the person or organisation taking care of them. Charities like the RSPCA and Blue Cross have schemes where you can register your pets, and they will re-home them if you die. Keep a copy of the registration documents with your Will.

Romain Coleman can help write your Will to include your pet

Our specialist Will and probate solicitors have extensive experience with drafting Wills. You’ve spent years looking after your pets, so don’t forget to look after them in your Will.

To find out more about our will writing service, contact our experienced team of elderly care solicitors on 0208 520 3322 or via our Contact Form.

This article was updated on 27/11/19

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This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.