Provision for pets in your will

Monday 6th December 2021

Have you overlooked your pets in your will?

Making provision for your pets is something that is often overlooked when writing your Will but is an important consideration.

With around 50% of the population owning a pet, this is clearly something that needs to be and should be considered carefully.

While most people think about what they want to happen to their home, money and investments on their death, most people don’t realise that your pet (in the eyes of the law) is also considered to be your property.  This is the in the same way as your car for example and as such forms part of the residue of your estate.

It is therefore vitally important that provision is made in your Will for your pet.

Considerations when creating your will

Who will care for your pet?

The first consideration should be whether any of your family or friends would be willing to look after and care for your pet. If so, you can make a gift of your pet to a specific person. You can also include a substitute beneficiary should your first choice be unwilling or unable to look after your pet when the time comes.

How will your pet be cared for?

In addition to leaving a gift of your pet to a specific person in your Will, you may also wish to consider preparing a letter of wishes to be kept with your Will to set out and explain how you would like your pet to be cared for.


As there is a financial burden in looking after a pet you may also wish to consider leaving a cash gift to your chosen beneficiary to pass to them on the condition that they accept the responsibility.

Could you donate your pet to charity?

If there are no family or friends that you wish to leave your pet to, you can consider including an animal charity in your Will such as the RSPCA or The Cinnamon Trust.

Confirm your wishes beforehand

Before writing your Will you should always speak to the person who you wish to leave your pet with.  This is to confirm they are happy with this and it doesn’t come as a surprise to them when the time comes.

It is also important to consider pets you may have in the future and not just at the time of writing your Will. It is possible to word your Will in such a way so that pets that are owned at the date of your death are also provided for and taken care of.