Although it is not something we want to contemplate, the truth is it is better to be prepared for our passing than to bury our heads in the sand and hope it all works out when the time comes.
Apart from making your families life easier during a difficult time, having a comprehensive and well thought out Will can also protect your furry friends in the event of your passing.
Whilst many pet owners don’t like to consider their pets ‘property’, in the eyes of the law they are treated as chattels, and therefore can be passed to your beneficiaries.
We have heard many stories about the pet cat or dog receiving the entire estate of their deceased owners, and while you are unable to actually leave your estate to your furry friend, you can choose to leave a portion of your estate ‘for the benefit of’ your family pet if you so choose.
The first thing to do is consider who you trust to look after your pet or pets when you pass and make sure that these intentions are known to the person (and they are agreeable!). It is always a good idea to include a backup in the case that the first person is unable to take on the responsibility.
It is important to remember that animals thrive on consistency, and it is likely that they will have some adjusting to do in a new home. Giving consideration to the situation of your pets after your passing ensures that that they are not going to be moved around unnecessarily when the time comes, and it is prudent to ensure that this is clear in your Will.
In addition to nominating the person/s whom you have chosen to take care of your pet/s, you can also choose to leave a fixed sum of money to that person to assist with the cost of maintaining your pet, or if you have multiple pets and are leaving them to different people, you could also consider setting up a trust for your pets to allow more control and to specify how funds are to be distributed amongst carers. It goes without saying that the person you entrust your pets too, who will receive the funds for their wellbeing, is someone you trust complicity.
It is vitally important that you have a valid and current Will in place to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. We strongly recommend contacting one of our Gold Coast Lawyers at Affinity Lawyers today on 5563 8970 to arrange an initial consultation to discuss your individual Will and estate requirements.