We British are known for being a nation of pet lovers. Sadly, very few of us consider who will take care of them, and how they will be provided, for after we die. In the UK, tens of thousands of pets are ‘left behind’ every year.
There are a number of options for your pets. Perhaps close family or friends are willing to take them on if something happened to you. If there’s nobody, then you may choose a pet charity such as the RSPCA or the Dogs Trust.
A death is a very distressing and confusing time for loved ones and pets are often forgotten about and so, without a plan, may not get the level of care and attention you would have wished for them.
Also, make sure you let your nearest and dearest know in advance. Don’t assume they will take care of your pets after you’ve gone. In a recent survey, 25% of those faced with inheriting a pet said they would choose to give it away or have it put to sleep. Often, they are put off by the associated costs.
By setting up a Trust you can set aside an amount of money to cover those unexpected bills so your pet will be taken care of. The Trust would last until your pet passes away and then any money left would pass to your trustees, or other beneficiaries such as children or grandchildren. How much money you leave would depend on your pet’s lifespan and the lifestyle you want it to lead. A Trust will also protect the new owner from losing any benefits. Make the transition easy for your pet and their new owner.
Our pets can provide so much joy and love during our lifetimes. It’s only fair we ensure they are provided for when we are gone.
Remember, whatever you may want to happen, won’t unless you make it clear in your Will.
Whilst a Will helps provide for your pet if you die, it’s important to consider what happens if you lost capacity either temporarily or permanently. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document you should consider having. With an LPA you can choose for someone to manage your affairs, including making provisions and paying care bills for your pets, whilst you are unable to do so.
With the right planning and advice, you can plan for all your loved ones – including those with more than two legs.