Pet owners who don’t prepare for their pet’s care after they die risk them being given away or even put down.
A survey of 1,000 people found that nearly a quarter of us would choose to give a pet away or have it put down if we inherited it, with costs and hassle cited as the top reasons.
Only a tiny fraction of pet owners (three per cent) have made provisions in their will and even those that have are still risking their pet's future, as there is no cast-iron imperative for family to take them in.
Pets are usually thought of as part of the family, yet half of all UK pet owners haven’t thought about what would happen to their pets after they’re gone, with nearly two-thirds (65 percent) assuming their pet will automatically be inherited by their next of kin.
But distressingly, 24 per cent would of people would then get rid of it.
Saga Legal Services, which complied the research, has released some top tips for making provisions for pets
1. Name who you want to care for your pet in your will
Specifying in your Will who you want to look after your pet lets everyone know what you would like to happen
2. Add a trust to your will
A trust is a legal arrangement allowing assets such as property or money to be looked after for the beneficiaries in your will.
With this, you can set aside a certain amount of money to care for your pet by gifting it to a trustee.
3. Consider how much money to leave
The amount of money you want to leave depends on the type of pet and the lifestyle you want it to lead
4. Set up a lasting power of attorney
While the above helps you provide for your pet when you die, you should also consider what happens if you become seriously ill or incapacitated.
With a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), your designated attorney would be able to make provisions for your pet, such as paying a vet bill or for temporary care as needed.
Top five reasons Britons do not want to inherit a pet:
1. The cost involved (17 percent)
2. The hassle involved (17 percent)
3. Doesn’t fit into my lifestyle (16 percent)
4. Don’t like pets (16 percent)
5. I’m allergic (4 percent)
For more information, visit saga.co.uk/legal