August 24, 2022
It’s not something we like to think about, but what happens to your pet if you should pass on before them?
With International Dog Day happening on the 26th of August, it’s an important reminder to all pet owners to make sure their beloved fur friends are taken care of in a Will.
Who will look after your pets when you no longer can?
Pets are part of the family, so it makes sense that we want to provide for them in our Will.
It’s crucial to leave instructions in your Will, because it outlines your final wishes regarding the future of your pets, and although we don’t wish to think about this, it is best for them.
One of the biggest Will-makers in the state, NSW Trustee & Guardian has seen an increase of pet owners making provisions for their four-legged friends.
“A decade ago, NSW Trustee & Guardian only wrote a handful of Wills that included clauses for pets. Now we’re writing roughly 600 Wills a year that include pets,” said NSW Trustee & Guardian Senior Solicitor, Natalie Darcy.
Since pets are regarded as property under NSW law, they cannot inherit property or money in a Will, so Ms Darcy highly recommends pet owners seek guidance from a professional will-maker.
“Pets can be provided for in a number of ways in a Will, including gifting the pet to a trusted family member or friend along with a sum of money to help cover their expenses, a pet legacy program with an animal charity, or setting up a trust fund”, said Ms Darcy.
Ms Darcy advises that it’s important to have a good idea of your pet’s life expectancy, and up-keep costs like food, insurance, and vet bills.
“You also need to make sure that if you’re leaving your pet to someone that they are willing and able to fulfil their duties. After all, an animal cannot apply to a court if their carer fails to fulfil their duties,” said Ms Darcy.
The state government agency also provides free pet emergency cards for pet owners to carry in their wallet.
“The card holds information about you, your emergency contacts, and your pet. If you can’t return home, this card can alert those around you that your pet needs care,” said Ms Darcy.
If you have an animal member of the family you wish to include in your Will, NSW Trustee & Guardian can help.
To book an appointment with the number one Will-maker in NSW or to order your free pet emergency, visit tag.nsw.gov.au/iwill.