The Perfect Pet Gift For Your Best Friend This Christmas
How to include your pet in your will
Pets can get overlooked at Christmas, mostly because they don’t expect anything. There’s never an awkward moment on Christmas with your pet, like the one which you might have with your Great Aunt who turns up unexpectedly over the holidays with a gift, and yet your pet has consistently been happy to see you and brought you joy throughout the year. So if you feel pet advent calendars and Reindeer ears aren’t enough this year for your best friend that Mitchell’s Solicitors have a great gift idea for you;
Include them in your will and make sure that they’re looked after if you die before them.
Under Australian law pets are considered property, so you can’t leave your estate to your pet, however, there are a number of options which will ensure that your pet is cared for as well as you cared for them during your lifetime.
- Make sure you have a will. If you already have a will, then on your death your pet will pass to your residuary beneficiary if you haven’t already made provision in your will for your pet. If your residuary beneficiary isn’t a pet lover then it might be time to amend your will and include a beneficiary who is. If you don’t have a will then your pet will pass under the intestacy rules to your closest living relatives who might not have the room or finances to keep your pet.
- Talk to your beneficiaries- Explain to your chosen beneficiaries that you would like them to care for your pet and what you would like that care to look like so there’s no surprises in the will.
- Think about financial provision from your estate for your pets upkeep- A lump sum specific amount could be left for the beneficiary with instructions to use the money only for the care of your pet.
- Create a legacy trust with an animal charity- If you’re struggling to find a beneficiary who is willing to adopt your pet if you were to die before they do then creating a legacy trust in your will leaving money to a pet charity will ensure that your pet is rehoused and cared for after you’ve gone.
Making sure that you have a will this Christmas that includes your pet is not only the best gift you can give your pet but also the best gift you can give yourself. At Mitchells Solicitors our will experts can give you the best options for you and your pet and make sure that any amendments made are legally binding so take time this Christmas to seek their advice — your pet will thank you.