Earlier according to Indian Laws only a legal or natural person can inherit the assets of a person, a dog, a cat, or any pet for that matter is not considered to be a person hence is not qualified to be inheriting property in its name. But with changing times, the perspective of the judicial institutions too have changed.
Punjabion (judges) ke dil Wadhe hote hain
- In the year 2019, a division bench of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana declared that all animals, birds, and aquatic creatures were legal persons.
- The following year, a Kochi man was restricted by the police to look for cat food. Not only did he get a pass issued to his name but also opened doors to legal redress for four-legged beings. The court traced the right of the petitioner and, incidentally, of his cats to Article 21 — a facet of the citizen’s right to life, liberty, and privacy
- while citing the Supreme Court’s Landmark Judgement Jallikattu Case (2014) which declared that an animal’s right to humane treatment was part of “life”, defined expansively to include the lives of animals. The court reinforced its conclusion by invoking Article 51-A[g], a fundamental duty that obliges citizens to show compassion for living beings.
There might not be relevant provisions to write your pet as a beneficiary in India but don't let that stop you from securing your pet's future, but After landmark judgments like the ones mentioned above, The eyes of the Law have started showing novel empathy towards other living creatures. Even though today, in India, you cannot directly pass on property to your pet, there are other ways to do so.
Legal Hacks to leave property to your pets :
- Inclusion of pet clause in the Will
- Guiding any acquaintance(or guardian) and/or pet beneficiaries to give your pet the best care and love while taking care of the expenses. (simplest way but does not involve writing a Will)
Find out in Part III of the “Four-legged member of the family” series, the steps to secure your Pets Future with AasaanWill. Zaroori Hai!