Pets and Your Will - Including your pets in your Will

Pets are often considered a part of the family, so you need to make sure your pet is taken care of. Some options you can specify in your Will to protect your pet include leaving a sum of money to an animal charity with a legacy program, organising a Testamentary Trust that allows you to appoint a trusted carer to provide physical care for your pet or you may also want to provide a gift of a sum of money in your Will to a friend or family member so they can look after your pet.

Think about all the options available and which would suit your needs for your pet best.

  • People who wish to set up trusts for individual animals must find a trustworthy and dependable executor/trustee who is prepared to uphold the terms of the trust.
  • If you do set up a trust - the perpetuity period - that is the term within which the trust must be wound up is 80 years.
  • You must appoint a person or an organisation to provide the physical day to day care and maintenance of your pet so you need to carefully consider your choice of carer/guardian.
  • NSW Trustee & Guardian has established a practice to check that the carer is genuinely looking after the pet.
  • Make sure you leave written details about the pet and veterinary documents to be placed with your Will.
  • Ensure there are sufficient funds for the trust to last the pet’s lifetime.

In order to prepare a Will making provision for a pet it pays to consult an expert.  In over 100 years of writing Wills, NSW Trustee & Guardian has written almost 1,000,000 Wills including quite a number that include animals. You can access more information by downloading  What about me? Your pets & your Will. 

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