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Paws for thought – Including your pets in your Will

by | Feb 7, 2024 | Wills & Estates

Recently there was an article about a woman in China leaving $4.3 million to her cats and dogs rather than her children because she claimed her children rarely visited her when she was unwell.  This article prompted us to think about how with our animal companions playing more of an important part in our lives, can you choose to extend their financial care beyond your lifetime by including provisions for your pets in their Wills.

In a world where pets are valued members of the family for most, the idea of leaving money to them might seen unconventional or ludicrous however, it is a growing trend as pet owners want their pets to continue to receive the love and care they are used to and deserve once their caretaken has died.

How to do this?

Leaving a legacy in your Will to your pets is a heartfelt way to express your enduring love and commitment to their wellbeing and ensures that your pet is cared for beyond your time.

The most common approach to leave money to your pets is in fact through the creation of a trust in your Will.  You are not giving the money to your pets but instead, you are appointing someone use the funds for the payment of your pet’s care, covering expenses such as veterinary costs, food, grooming, etc.  Through the wording of the Will, you can ensure that the funds are only used for the benefit of your pet.

There are several things that you need to consider before setting up a trust for your pet including who is a reliable caretaker, the expected lifespan of your pet and how much money they would need for their continued care.

How can Nevett Ford help?

By working with our Wills and Estates Team, we can assist you to navigate the specifics of creating a trust for the benefit of your pet which aligns with your wishes and the needs of your pet.  We also provide you with our Pet Care Plan which sets out all of the information you would need to provide to your appointed caregiver so that they know what is needed when the time comes.  Please feel free to contact us for more information on 03 9614 7111 or email us at melbourne@nevettford.com.au.