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Many people omit one of their most prized possessions from their wills: their beloved pets! This is possibly because we don’t think of them as property as much as ‘part of the family’, but the law views pets as possessions and it is therefore important to make sure that they will continue to be looked after in the event of your death.

So, should you include a pet in your will? The short answer is yes. Here, one of our wills specialists Karen Killick explains why, and underlines some key points to consider.

Leaving a pet in will

Why should I include my pet in my will?

Because you love them! If you wish to make sure that your pet goes to live with a person or family that you know and trust, then it is best to spell this out explicitly in your will.

A pet is no different to any other possession and you need to make sure that they are accounted for in the event of your death. Whether you have a cat, a dog, something bigger or smaller, it is essential to write them into your will.

What if I don’t include my pet in my will?

Then you run the risk of your pet being taken into care, left unwanted or even homeless.

What if I have nobody who would look after my pet?

There are options open to you, including a free RSPCA service called “Home for Life”. Where a pet has been signed up for the service the RSPCA promises to find a suitable and loving new home as soon as they can in the event of the pet owner’s death. In the meantime the pet will be cared for at an RSPCA animal centre.

There are other charities to consider, too, such as the Cinnamon Trust, which helps elderly and terminally ill people to look after their pets.

If you wish for your pet to be cared for by a specific charity, it’s important to include the correct wording in your will for this, and DMA Law can help to advise what that should be. We can also help to ensure that a financial donation is made to the charity, if you wish.

What about the cost of looking after my pet when I am gone?

Looking after a pet can be a significant financial burden. It is a good idea to leave a financial sum, if you can spare it, in your will to cover at least some of the cost of looking after your pet in future.

If you want to write a will, or re-write a will to include a family pet, then DMA Law can help. It’s more affordable than you might think and we will make sure you cover all the important details.

Contact us today on 01325 482 299 and ask to speak to a wills specialist.