March is a nominated will-writing month and many of us ensure our Wills are up to date. This is our chance to ensure that we have remembered family and close friends in our last wishes. But what about our loving pets? Have you made provision for their welfare in the event of your passing?
We thought it a timely reminder to remember your pets and to ensure they will be taken care of. A pet owner is not able to leave any part of their estate outright to an animal but provision can be made in other ways. This includes passing on legal ownership of the pet to a family member or friend. You can do this by nominating a designated caretaker, bequeathing them a sum of money for ongoing care of your beloved pet.
- If choosing to nominate a caretaker for your pet, don’t forget to inform your vet and your pet insurer beforehand. This saves potential delays if your pet needs medical care, an insurance claim or renewal at a later date.
- Is your pet registered on lost and found pet websites such as Petlog or the National Pet Register? Where any microchipping data is logged, ask to make potential change of ownership arrangements in advance.
Before the reading of the Will
Advance arrangements for pet care should be made for the time period between passing and the reading of the Will too. Often this period is not considered although a Will can make provisions for the care of the pet during this time. However, an Executor of the Will cannot carry out these provisions immediately. They must wait for the Will to be admitted to probate and the nominated Executor has received the authority to proceed. Bear in mind that this time could amount to several weeks or months, so consider plans for interim pet care.
Animal charities can rehome your pets
At the time of Will-writing, if no suitable caretaker is nominated, consider animal charity organisations or rescues. Some of these can potentially re-home your pet. It is likely they may require a donation to cover expenses involved though. It could be useful to discuss any such requirements with the charity or animal rescue beforehand.
Some animal rescues and animal charities have specific criteria for rehoming that may be more suitable for your pet. Some animal rescues operate primarily for a chosen breed or age of dog. For example, http://www.cavalierrescue.co.uk/index.htm represents the National Rescue and Welfare of regional Cavalier Club Rescues across the UK. Senior dogs are looked after by The Oldies Club, which helps older dogs find loving homes across the UK https://www.oldies.org.uk/ For equine lovers http://horses4homes.net/ provides a platform for safe rehoming.
The Blue Cross “Pets Into Care Scheme” registers your pet into their care, in the event that you outlive them https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pets-care-scheme Qualifying pets include dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats.
For those animal-lovers without a pet, at the time of Will-writing, you can opt to:
- leave a donation in your Will to your favourite animal charity
- or perhaps sponsor a rescue animal.
To find out more about legacies and donations to animal charities, visit https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/charities/animals/pets?onlinedonations=0
Get professional advice when making a Will
Will-writing is a specialist skill and using a solicitor is recommended to ensure you correctly document your last wishes. Bower’s expert legal partners can take care of the whole Will-writing process for you. For a professional consultation with our specialist Will writer, call Freephone 0800 411 8668 or visit https://www.bowerhomefinance.co.uk/wills-and-lpas
Please share our blog with family members who are pet lovers. Here at Bower, we hope it helps ensure long-lasting care for their animals and peace of mind.