News & Views

Leaving a legacy for your pet


Many will have heard the tale of Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette, who reportedly inherited a substantial sum from the German fashion designer’s £153 million estate.  Whilst many of us with pets may not have the resources to fund such a lavish legacy, have you thought about what will happen to yours should they survive you?

According to statistics from the PDSA, 49% of UK adults owned a pet in 2018.  Being a dog owner myself, I know that pets are often considered an important part of the family.  Their welfare, and the cost of caring for them, should be given thought when making or updating your Will.

Whilst owning a pet is a source of pleasure it’s also a financial burden.  As an example, the average cost of dog food alone is approximately £200 to £400 a year according The Money Advice Service, with many of us spending significantly more than that on treats and accessories.

In England it’s not possible to leave a legacy directly to your pet.  However, you can leave your pet to a friend or member of your family, together with a gift to provide for their maintenance.   This doesn’t guarantee that they will be willing to accept the responsibility of looking after your pet, so you may wish to consider making the gift conditional on them doing so.  And you should certainly ensure you make it conditional on your pet surviving you.

If the beneficiary is unable or unwilling to care for your pet, then a backup plan is a good idea.  Many charities offer rehoming schemes, and my own dog is signed up with the Dogs Trust Canine Care Card scheme.

For more information please contact Kirsty or the team.

On the subject of our four-legged friends, Sherrards Solicitors are a firm of pet lovers and owners and are proud to support the Dog Show at Herts Pride 2019, which will be taking place at Cassiobury Park on Saturday 31 August 2019.

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