Providing for your pets in your will

Make sure your pet/s will be looked after if something happens to you

If your family unit includes a furry, feathered or scaly member then you are counted amongst the 63% of Australian households caring for a pet. There are over 38 million pets of various species throughout Australia and 91% of Aussies say they feel very close to their pet. Many Australians consider their pets a beloved family member and some think of them as their children.

Regrettably we can forget about our pets when it comes to our own mortality. It is a wise move to think ahead and plan for your pet’s future if you should die before they do. When making your Will it is just as important to consider your fur children as it is the human children. Animals, like small children, cannot support and care for themselves independently. Animals who are not provided for by their “adoptive parents” may find themselves in the local pound or being euthaniased (which we do not want). If you do not want this to occur you should give thought to making a valid Will that makes provision for your pet. Making provision for your pet in your Will requires thought, it can be a little complicated as animals do not have the same status in the law as humans.

Do not expect that your family and friends will automatically know your wishes.  It is important you clearly state how you wish for your pet/s to be cared for once you are unable to.

When providing for your pet in your Will your options are;

• a legacy to a friend or relative with a non-binding
request they look after your pet;
• a legacy programme with an animal charity. This involves
leaving a gift of money to the charity in exchange for
the charity looking after your pet;
• a trust for the care and maintenance of your pet;

You can also stipulate that you wish your pet to be re-homed through a requested rescue organisation and this can be followed through, particularly if you have no family and friends that can take care of the pet after you pass.

For further information please contact your solicitor.  But most importantly DO NOT forget to leave instructions for your beloved furfriend.