Don’t leave your best friend’s future up in the air.

Why would they need to be in the will?

Part of being a responsible pet owner is ensuring that your pets will be cared for in the event of your untimely death. It’s an awful thought that Fido or Whiskers would be sent to the RSPCA because there is no plan in place and your family are unable to take them. You need to think carefully about what you want to happen to them and then make your instructions clear and legally binding.

Won’t my family or friends just take them?

If you have discussed this with family or friends, then this could be the easiest option. However, it’s best to have things in writing to avoid any potential squabbles over who exactly gets the pet or who pays for the upkeep.

Does it mean I leave them money?

Not exactly, though money might be involved. You can leave your pet as a legacy, which means they are given to a trusted friend or family member. In this case, you can also choose to leave the person some money to provide for the ongoing care of your pet for the rest of its life. Make sure you discuss this with the person before putting it in your will. No one wants to feel that they must take a pet because you wanted them to.

What if I don’t have friends or family to leave them to?

This is where rescue organisations come in. There are many excellent organisations around the country, dedicated to animals or all kinds or breed specific. You can approach the organisation before drawing up your will and let them know that you will be surrendering your pet to them when you die. Once again, you can also include money to pay for the pet’s care. Discuss with the rescue whether they would try to rehome your animal with a suitable owner or if it would live with them for the rest of its life.

One option is to indicate in your will that you wish for your pet to be euthanised upon your death. While you may feel that your beloved animal wouldn’t want to go on without you, we really discourage your from taking this option. Give your pet another chance to be loved and make a new family happy.

Is your pet in your will?

This article is for general information only. You should seek formal financial advice on your specific circumstances.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.