Consideration of Pets in your Will

Consideration of Pets in your Will

We are a nation of pet lovers with approximately 12 million households having pets with 51 million pets owned. They are part of the family and very important to us, so it seems right we should give them some consideration when it comes to preparing our Wills. So what can be done to look after them after we are gone?

Pets are considered personal chattels, and can therefore be left to a beneficiary in your Will. You can either name the pet that you have or make it apply to any pet that is alive when you die.

You should consider who you want to look after your pet. It can be left to a particular person or to an animal charity. Pets cost money and you should consider whether you wish to leave a sum of money to the beneficiary in order to be able to provide for your pet. The sum of money can be made conditional in that the beneficiary will only receive it if they undertake to look after the animal.

It would be wise to consider putting in a substitute beneficiary also to ensure there is someone able to take on the responsibility. The life span of your pet and the age of the beneficiary should be considered also.

If you did not wish to name a specific beneficiary you could leave the pet to your Executors along with a Letter of Wishes detailing how you would wish the animal to be dealt with. This leaves more options open to the Executors at the time of your death.

Alternatively the animal could be left to an animal welfare charity with a request that the charity find a suitable home.

The pet could also be included in a Discretionary Trust with the residuary estate again with a Letter of Wishes. This would give the Trustees flexibility to decide who should look after the pet.

We can talk you through all of the above options and your initial Will appointment.

If you concerned about these issues, Heppenstalls can help you explore the issues in a friendly and informal way. If you would like to make an appointment, or to talk to our team about this article, please contact us on 01425 610078 or 01590 689500.


Thank you so much for making the process of writing our Wills so simple and painless. V&C I'm very grateful you took all of the stress and worry out of the process for me. MrC
Latest news stories
Kerry Richardson

Kerry qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and joined Heppenstalls Private Client team in 2018.

Kerry can advise on Will drafting, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deputyship applications, Court of Protection matters and Probate and Estate administration.

Before moving over to Private Client Services, Kerry worked for 15 years in Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury & Civil Litigation.

To contact Kerry please call our New Milton office on 01425 610078.