When writing your Will you can include details as to who will look after your pet. This can relate to your current pet (who will be specifically named in your Will) or any pet who is living with you at the date of your death.

You can decide:
  • Who is to look after your pet- a friend or relative – it is beneficial to speak to this person to ensure that they are able to do this – financially, domestic arrangements, allergies etc
  • To include a substitutional friend or relative to receive your pet should your first choice be unable to care for your pet for any reason
  • Whether this person will receive a monetary gift for agreeing to look after your pet
  • To leave a letter of wishes to include details of your pet, their likes/dislikes and all other relevant information for the new owner. This can be updated as and when required without the need to update your Will

If your pet is to be rehomed you can suggest various charities, organisations or websites to be notified when looking for a new home (your letter of wishes can be handed over to the new owner.)

Whether you wish to include a Trust in your Will for the care of your pet. You will leave a sum of money or a share of your estate in trust. Please consider how much would be appropriate to cover your pet’s life . This will enable the new owner to have all costs in relation to the care of your pet to be paid from the Trust. This will include:

  • Food
  • Vet bills
  • Medicines
  • Cattery/kennel costs
  • Insurance
  • Any other associated costs for your pet

You will need to appoint Trustees to deal with the administration of the Trust and decide who will receive the balance of the trust upon the death of your pet. See below some useful information which may help you to calculate the amount to leave in Trust based on your pet’s life expectancy.

To leave a gift to an animal charity to rehome your pet – you may wish to speak with the charity before making a fixed decision as to their ability to rehome and what their policy is with regard to how long they will keep your pet should they not be rehomed. It is beneficial to provide further instructions in your letter of wishes in the event that your pet cannot be accepted at the date of your death.

Whether to review the gift left in your Will on a regular basis (approx. every 3-5 years) to ensure the one-off gift is sufficient to meet with the needs of your pet or to add additional provisions for any new pets you may have.

Approximate Life Expectancy and Annual Costs For Your Pet

This does not take into account any special dietary requirements or ongoing medical treatment your pet currently requires.

Dog:

10-13 year lifespan, £1,200-£1,400 estimated annual cost.

Cat:

15-17 year lifespan, £1,000-£1,200 estimated annual cost.

Goldfish:

5-10 year lifespan, £20 estimated annual cost.

Rabbit:

8-12 year lifespan, £500 estimated annual cost.

Guinea Pig:

5-8 year lifespan, £500 estimated annual cost.

Hamster:

2-3 year lifespan, £100-200 estimated annual cost.

Tortoise:

50-100+ year lifespan, £300-400 estimated annual cost.

Parrot:

25-50+ year lifespan, £500 estimated annual cost.

Horse:

25-33 year lifespan, £3,000-10,000 estimated annual cost.

(Years and figures provided by Practical Law 2018)

All Wills will be provided with a FREE detailed letter of wishes to be filled in by you with regard to your Pets.

Pet Charities and our Special Service Price List

We support a variety of pet charities, including RSPCA Leeds and Wakefield, Camp Nibbles, Hope Pastures, Battersea and Rainbow Bird Rescue. Ask Charlotte or Katherine for more details.

Standard Will with legacy for pet and/or legacy in Will to nominated charity: £80+VAT (usual cost £150+VAT)
Mirror Will legacy for pet and/or legacy in Will for nominated charity: £150+VAT (usual cost £250+VAT)
Will with Trust in place for Pet: £120+VAT (usual cost £200+VAT)
Mirror Wills with Trust in place for Pet: £180+VAT (usual cost £300+VAT)
Standard Will with option to give a gift now to one of the nominated charities (suggested minimum donation £50): £60+VAT (usual cost £150+VAT)
Mirror Will with option to give a gift now to one of the nominated charities (suggested minimum donation £80): £90+VAT (usual cost £250+VAT)

WHAT TO DO NEXT

For a FREE initial consultation, call the Wills and Probate Team on 0113 200 9787 or contact us online here to discuss how we can help you.

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