Is your pet in your will?

Is your pet in your will?

You will have most likely heard of the famous and very sad story of Greyfriars Bobby.

Bobby was a Skye terrier who was famous in Edinburgh in the 19th Century for guarding his owner’s grave for 14 years, until he himself died on 14th January 1872. There has since been a statue erected to commemorate perhaps the most loyal dog in the world.

But have you thought about how you would protect and provide for your loyal companion if you left them behind?

Most people consider their pet to be a part of their family. However, the law recognises pets as part of a person’s property and as such, they can be left to another person in a will. Listed below are a few things to consider to make sure your pet continues to be looked after into the future.

Who’s in charge of your pet?

Unfortunately, you are unable to leave a sum of money directly to your pet. This is because pets are obviously unable to provide a legal receipt. However, you can nominate an individual to be responsible for your pet. If you have someone in mind, you can add a clause into your will stating that you will leave a lump sum of money to that person and specify that the money should be used in order to care for your pet.

If you do not have someone who could look after your pet, it is a good idea to seek out a charitable organisation who would be able to give your pet a home.

How much money should you leave for your pet?

If you are leaving your pet to a friend to care for, then there are a number of costs you should consider. Their food, vets bills, medications, any walking fees, grooming and possible boarding costs.  A good way to work out how much to leave would be to calculate how much your pet costs annually, and multiple that by their predicted life expectancy. You should then include a little extra for any unforeseen costs.

How to put your pet in your will

Once you have decided who you are going to leave in charge of your pet and have worked out the amount you wish to leave for their care, you need to put it in your will. Adding a pet and a person to care for them to a will is relatively inexpensive. However, by making sure your pet’s future is written into your will, it will provide you with some peace of mind. It will also ensure that your pet is cared for the duration of its life.