Gizmo's Guardian: 3 things about Pets and Wills

Gizmo was my pet Chihuahua when I was growing up; she was my best mate.

I don’t know about you, but my pets are my furbabies; they are part of my family. Following many casual chats with others, I find that most people with pets feel the same way. Every now and then that thought might pop into your mind as to what would happen to Gizmo when you pass away. What surprises me though is how many of those who adore their furbabies don’t have a Will. So, what happens to Gizmo when you go? Whilst it’s a bit confronting to consider, think of the alternative for poor Gizmo.

Having a Will is about so much more than distributing your assets. It’s about transition. What happens in this kind of transition depends entirely on what and who you leave behind, including Gizmo.

Here are 3 things I like to suggest people think about:

  1. Gifting your pet to the right person: This is a big decision and it should be discussed with the person you’ve selected. People can say “no” to receiving a gift of any type, but it might hurt you to think of someone saying “no” to your pet and your beloved furbaby ending up somewhere different.
     
  2. Consider the costs: The costs of pet care can be significant, particularly as your babies get older in age and their health deteriorates. You should always consider the burden of costs to whomever receives your pet when you go. When you gift your pet to a person, you can also gift some money to that person or set aside a sum of money to be used for the care of that same pet. 
     
  3. Get people know about your pet: People should know that you have a pet so that when something happens to you, steps can be taken right away to ensure the wellbeing of your furbaby. 

If you think you should make some directions about how to care for Gizmo when you go, our Wills & Estates team can help you consider the options available. 

Authors

Michele Davis is a Associate at Bennett & Philp Lawyers