Pets and Your Will – Facts That Can Help You Ensure the Proper Care of Your Pet


When our pets begin to age, we usually start thinking about what will happen when they pass, and how we will cope with such a loss. However, have you ever thought about what would happen to your pet if you were to pass unexpectedly? Your passing would be difficult for your pet, and you should ensure that someone is available to care for him or her during that painful time.

There are a couple of options for your pet’s care after your passing, including appointed caregivers and trusts. While some people may find it strange to include your pet in your will, Gillard Family Lawyers understands that your pet is a part of your family, and his or her well-being is of the utmost importance. Keep reading to find some helpful information about pets and your will.

In order to ensure that your pet receives the proper care, you must discuss the situation with a trusted friend or family member who would be willing to care for him or her on a daily basis in the event of your death. You can gift a sum of money to this person in your will to cover your pet’s expenses for the rest of its life.

You can also organise a trust or legacy and appoint a dependable trustee who will see to the care of your pet. These must follow specific legal guidelines that you will discuss with your legal advisor. In addition, NSW Trustee & Guardian has established a practice that periodically checks on your pet to make sure it is receiving the proper care.

If you are unable to find a friend or family member who is willing to be responsible for the care of your pet, you may want to explore a legacy programme with an animal charity. The NSW Animal Welfare League and the NSW RSPCA offer a programme that will either find a new, suitable home for your pet, or place them in a facility operated by the charity. A legacy programme would require you to leave a monetary gift to the charity in exchange for the care of your pet. It is recommended that you visit the facilities operated by these charities for the peace of mind that your pet will be cared for if you choose this option.

Regardless of which option your choose, be sure to include written instructions regarding your pet’s individual needs, personality, likes and dislikes, and all veterinary paperwork with your will, no matter which option your choose.

Pets are such a joyous part of our life, and are so dependent upon us for their survival. Please do not forget to make appropriate plans for your pet in the event of your death. Feel free to contact us to learn more about ensuring that your pet is cared for after you pass.