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Are you pets covered in your Will?

12 February 2020

Lauren Smith

Are you pets covered in your Will?


Nearly half of adults in the UK own a pet, but people often forget to consider what will happen to their animals if they were to pass away.

In England and Wales, you can make provision for what would happen to your pets on your death. However, help from a Solicitor is always advised due to the legalities which need to be considered. For example, you couldn’t just state in your will “£1000 for my dog Spot” as this will be invalid as animals cannot own property.


Below are five things to consider:

Long term care – This is completely different from asking someone to take care of your animal whilst you’re on holiday. You need to ensure the chosen individual is willing to take on all the responsibilities that may come with the pet.

Affordability – Taking care of an animal can be costly, from things like food, vet bills to insurance, in which the appointed would have to take on. A cash gift in your will is a good way to ensure these things are covered and it may also encourage more people to step forward for the role. However, you have to consider the implications of this as you cannot force the recipient of the cash to use the money for the benefit of the animal. A solicitor can help draw up a suitable clause.

General clause- Generally speaking, people outlive their pets and may have several pets during their lifetime. You could choose to include a general clause as to what would happen to any pet you owned at the date you died. If you didn’t do this and instead specifically named a pet then this clause would no longer be valid once that animal has passed, even if you did get a replacement.

Plan B – Just in case whoever was allocated has a change of heart, animal charities are good back up or if you cannot find anyone to begin with. The RSPCA and the Dogs Trust are examples of some charities that offer this service. Normally if this is your wish, they would request that it is in included in your will beforehand.

Taylor Bracewell Solicitors, based in Doncaster and Sheffield, can offer expert advice on Will writing.

If you’d like to discuss your circumstances with one of our experts please contact Lauren SmithHead of Wills, Probate and Trusts on 0114 399 0096 or email