Pets in wills: A dog is for life - and after!
- AuthorLisa Cox
We’ve all heard the famous slogan “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” but what happens if your dog’s life is longer than yours?
Pets are undeniably considered a member of their owner’s family, with recent reports indicating that millennials in America are treating their dogs as if they were their first born, due to the costs of raising a child. In fact, the love for our pets is so strong that it is estimated that one in four divorces now involves a dispute over them. It is therefore understandable that you would want to ensure that your pet is provided for, should they out-live you, to avoid the need for them to be re-homed or be surrendered to a shelter. So what can you do?
Whilst you cannot leave a gift to your pet in your will, you can make a gift to a family member or friend on the condition that he or she provides a suitable home for pet and maintains them. However, this comes with the risk of your chosen person not accepting the pet. It is, therefore, possible for a trust to be set up which would in effect mean that your chosen trustees manage a designated sum of money for the purpose of fulfilling your pet’s needs, such as buying food, getting check-ups at the vet, grooming and, most importantly, new toys!
Trusts of any nature are complex, and require careful consideration and drafting, which is why we have a specialist team here at Birkett Long. If you are considering leaving your estate in a trust for your pet, please contact us for a free, no obligation 15 minute chat.
Read our blog Who gets the dog? Are pet-nuptial agreements actually real? to find out more about pets involved in divorces.