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Dog is a man’s best friend – so can you leave your Will to your pet?

10 June 2021 Wills, Trusts & Estates Sarah Mitchell

Over the years, humans and canines have grown a very special relationship, and for many dog owners it goes without saying that a dog is a man’s best friend. 

Given that it's estimated that 12 million households in the UK have a pet, it is not surprising that as a nation of pet lovers many people have concerns on what will happen to their pet when they die.

It was recently reported that a pampered pooch in America became a super-rich pet after she was left $5million in her owner's will! However, in reality gifts that you make in your Will must have an identifiable human beneficiary.

For the purpose of your Will, a pet is considered to be personal property (unless your pet is a working animal, in which case they might be a business asset!). In Scotland, you cannot leave money directly to your pet when making a Will – however you can nominate someone to look after them and leave a gift to that person to cover the associated expenses, ensuring your pet is well looked after once you are no longer here.

Every year thousands of people die without making proper provisions for their canine and feline friends, and without adequate plans in place, many will not stay within the family.

So whilst you cannot guarantee your pet will be super-rich, you can safeguard that they will be well loved and pampered for the rest of their lives!

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