Published on
21 Apr 2023
3 min read

How Can You Plan for Your Pets in Your Will?

Vishnu Teja Chundi
May 19, 2023

Sure, you’ve heard people plan for their death so that the family stays back well and secure. But did you think about your pet? That fur-ball you once bought home is just the same as the rest of the family members. So, your plan should also include your pet plans.

We understand the law doesn’t see animals as individuals and so you cannot leave money or assets to your pets. The question remains then: how can we plan for our pets if they aren’t recognised by the law? Well, actually, you can.

The plan for your pet includes the person you trust to look after your pet after you, who respects you and your wishes and can provide your pet with the same love and care as you did. The plan also includes the resources required to look after your pet, including their unique needs.

In this article, we’ll talk about how you can plan your pet’s future after you with the help of a Will and the things required for a solid plan for your pet. Let’s get started!

Include a pet clause when you write your Will and Testament

Let’s quickly understand the concept of including your pet plan as a clause in your last Will and testament. Your pet is seen as property in the eyes of law. As such, just like any other asset you own, you can leave your pet to a trustee as a gift. Simply write the name of the beneficiary and the name of the pet. The one to whom you entrust the responsibility of your pet is the pet guardian or caregiver.

In case of multiple pets, simply mention the type and name and the pet guardian you want to hand them over in your Will.

Quick and easy, isn’t it?

Select your pet guardian wisely and talk to them

You’ve got the gist of how you can include your pet in your Will. Now let’s talk about the requirements to fulfil that plan.

Before you write the name of the pet guardian in your Will, it’s wise to have a conversation with them. It’s important to know if they are willing to play the role of a pet guardian and able to look after your pet.

Parenting a pet can be overwhelming to some people. So, instead of surprising them with the responsibility of looking after a pet, have a word with them about their thoughts on the subject.

Prepare the funds

Set up a pet trust to leave all the funds and resources for your pet’s care. You can take the help of an estate planning attorney to create the essential documents and set up your trust, just like other trusts.

Name a trustee, in this case, the pet guardian, who’ll have the legal authority to look over the trust once you pass. As per your instruction, the trustee is obligated to use the funds you’ve left in the trust for your pet’s needs.

To understand the amount you need to leave in your trust for your pet’s care, consider your pet’s life expectancy, their needs, and the probability of health issues over time. If there’s an excess amount, your family members can claim it in court.

Update Your Will

Life is unpredictable as it is. You get married, have kids, bring home a pet, and so on. Big or small, change is the only constant in life. And so, it’s only rational to plan things appropriately and prepare for the worst and the best.

Just like us, our pets deserve to live long and happy lives. So, when you’re planning your family’s future, don’t forget to plan your pet’s future as well. They came for love and your responsibility doesn’t end with your demise. Plan well. Plan soon.