We’re a nation of dog-lovers and rightly proud of that fact. Dogs bring us so much joy and, let’s face it, they’re family. Just as you might make provision for any dependants in a Will, so it’s worth considering how you can make sure your dog is looked after if you’re not there.
There is one simple fact to consider – only a Will can provide legal assurance that your wishes will be followed. To avoid any dispute about who gets custody of your dog, it’s best to make provisions in your Will. If a family member or friend is willing to look after your dog, then you can make a gift to that effect in your Will. You may also want to provide a cash gift to that person which could be unconditional, or conditional upon them looking after your dog for its entire lifetime. You can’t leave a cash gift directly to your pet (despite what you may have heard or seen on social media). In law, dogs are considered ‘possessions’ and can’t open bank or savings accounts in their own right. They therefore cannot legally receive money or any sort of direct gift in a Will.
It’s also worth considering writing a letter of wishes relating to your dog, which can be kept with your Will. This letter can deal with such things as medical requirements, which vet they go to, exercise needs, food likes, or dislikes, temperament and other issues that are important to you.
And don’t worry if you don’t know anyone who could take on this responsibility. Lots of brilliant charities have peace-of-mind schemes that are easy to sign up for, such as the RSPCA's Home for Life scheme, the Dog's Trust Canine Care Card and The Cinnamon Trust.
If you want any advice about making a Will or amending an existing Will, you can call 02380 218000 or visit our website: ericrobinson.co.uk/dogstival
We will donate £20 to Support Dogs for every Will we write (or amend) for anyone who attends Dogstival within 8 weeks of the event.