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Puss in (Chanel) Boots

For many people, their pets are more than just animals to take care of...

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Puss in (Chanel) Boots

1st March 2019

News : Wills & Probate

For many people, their pets are more than just animals to take care of – they become members of the family. Whether furry or feathered, scaly or spiny, animal owners cherish their non-human companions. They want to ensure that they are happy and healthy. But how far is too far when it comes to spoiling your pets?

Hairy Heirs

It was recently reported that the late Karl Lagerfeld, esteemed German fashion designer, named his beloved cat – Choupette – in his Will. He’s not alone in pampering his pets. After Alexander McQueen passed away in 2010, it was reported that he’d left part of his £16m fortune so that his dogs could live out their lives in luxury.

But what can a cat like Choupette do with a chunk of a £153m estate?

In truth – not a lot.

As animals cannot own property, it’s unlikely that the Will gave Choupette anything directly. If it did – it would have failed.

How to maintain a lavish lifestyle – animal edition

So what will be Choupette’s fate if she cannot inherit?

Well, whilst Choupette cannot receive any property herself, a human could. Mr Lagerfeld may have provided for a trust, or some conditions, which provided that Choupette was looked after.

Similarly – Mr McQueen was generous in his giving to various charities in his Will – including The Blue Cross and Battersea Dogs and Cats home. He was not only ensuring that his own dogs were taken care of, but also those in much greater need.

‘Paws’ for thought

For those of us not lucky enough to have several million pounds to invest in our animals, there are still steps to take to ensure that our treasured creatures are looked after.

Here are the two main ways you can make provision for your pets:

  • Give them to a trusted loved one.

You may have someone in your life who loves your pets nearly as much as you. Consider whether they’d be willing and able to look after your animal if you passed away.

Consider their age, and lifestyle – for instance, someone who travels a lot, or works away, might not be best suited to look after a high maintenance animal.

Also consider their finances – can they afford to look after your pet? Adding up the annual cost of food, equipment, vets bills and insurance (and more!) – pets can quickly become very expensive. Perhaps you could also leave that person a cash legacy in your Will. This would help ease the financial burden that comes with the responsibility of looking after an animal.

  • Entrust them to the help of a specialist charity.

If there is no one in your life suitable to take care of your pet, consider a specialist charity to be named in the Will.

Many charities including the RSPCA, Cats Protection, Dogs Trust (and many more!) can take care of your pet until they are able to find a suitable new home for them. The above charities also have schemes in place that you can pre-register for. This gives total peace of mind that your pets will be taken care of when you die. These work alongside your Wills and can ensure that no time is wasted in finding your pet a new home.

It might also be that you want to combine the request for care with a legacy to that charity – as a way of saying thank you, and to help them continue their cause.

What next?

If you would like to discuss how to look after your pets in your Will, or would like more information, call us today on 01270 444329. or alternatively complete this form and we will call you back to arrange an appointment.

 

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