Providing for Pets, Rural Magazine
29th November 2023
Image: Some of the Corbett Le Quesne staff pets
Providing for Pets
Last month in Rural Jersey we talked about how couples deal with pets when they separate. As we discussed, pets are owned by the person who bought them as they are considered to be property or ‘chattels’. This also means that you cannot leave money to a pet in a Will.
So what can you do to ensure a beloved pet is cared for if you die before them? You could find a suitable friend or relative and ask them if they are prepared to care for them. You can then leave them the pet and suitable funds in your Will with the proviso they care for them. They will then inherit the pet and the money from you on death.
You could go further and establish a non-charitable purpose trust for your pet, which you can do here in Jersey, but not in the UK. The named caregiver could then withdraw funds from the trust to care for them. If you have many pets, or large animals like horses who needs stables, you may want to leave someone a property to live in with the pets until the pets die.
If you do not have anyone suitable to leave a pet to, you may be able to leave him or her to a charity and provide them with the funds to care for them. You should check that the charity is willing and able to take your pet(s) before putting this in your Will.
If you, like the majority of us at Corbett Le Quesne, are passionate about not only your pets but about animals in general, you may also want to leave a legacy to an animal charity. Durrell and the JSPCA are popular choices in the Island but there are many charities who could benefit from your kindness. There is a list of charities on the Jersey Charities website and you can find the animal welfare charities here: www.jerseycharities.org/members#category-animalwelfare
What if you do not have a Will or you have not made provision in your current Will? Well we offer free 30 minute consultations to discuss your options so do feel free to call us on 733030. Essentially though you would have to rely on the kindness of strangers. A charity may be able to help otherwise the worst case scenario is that your pet would be put to sleep.
You will also need to provide for what should happen to any remaining assets when the pet has passed away to ensure the Will doesn’t fail.
We understand that pets may be the most important part of your life. Most of us at Corbett Le Quesne have dogs and cats and we have regular canine visitors to the office. I have grown up with all sorts of pets including Shetland ponies and geese and many many dogs. While I only have one dog now, (a gorgeous black lab called Harvey) my parents have four rescue dogs and they need a lot of special care. I would have no hesitation in saying I would look after them as my own but I am not sure I would have been able to take on the Shetland ponies or geese without some provision being made in a Will. So there are practical considerations that you should consider. Do you have a suitable home? Can you afford the vet bills? Do you have the time to look after them properly? We always advise people to strongly consider discussing the terms of their Wills with their nearest and dearest to avoid problems down the line. If you have any questions, call us on 733030 or email email@example.com.« Back to Blog