Milo, Otis, Max and Charlie. They’re the four-legged friends you can’t live without, but who will look after your pets when you no longer can?
As the number one Will-maker in NSW, NSW Trustee & Guardian has seen a rising trend among pet owners making provisions for their pawed-pals in their Wills.
“A decade ago, NSW Trustee & Guardian only wrote a handful of Wills that included clauses for pets. Now we’re writing roughly 600 Wills a year that include pets,” said NSW Trustee & Guardian Senior Solicitor, Natalie Darcy.
“Pets have really become part of the family, so it makes sense that people want to include them in their Wills.”
While pets are regarded as property under NSW law, they cannot inherit property or money in a Will, so Ms Darcy highly recommends pet owners seek guidance from a professional will-maker.
“Pets can be provided for in a number of ways in a Will, including gifting the pet to a trusted family member or friend along with a sum of money to help cover their expenses, a pet legacy program with an animal charity, or setting up a trust fund”, said Ms Darcy.
Ms Darcy advises that it’s important to have a good idea of your pet’s life expectancy, and up-keep costs like food, insurance, and vet bills.
“You also need to make sure that if you’re leaving your pet to someone that they are willing and able to fulfil their duties. After all, an animal cannot apply to a court if their carer fails to fulfil their duties,” said Ms Darcy.
The state government agency also provides free pet emergency cards for pet owners to carry in their wallet.
“The card holds information about you, your emergency contacts and your pet. If you can’t return home, this card can alert those around you that your pet needs care,” said Ms Darcy.
If you have a furry, feathered, or scaly member of the family you wish to include in your Will, NSW Trustee & Guardian can help.
The number one Will-maker in NSW, NSW Trustee & Guardian has professional Will-makers located across the state. They also offer video conferencing appointments to help with busy schedules.
To book an appointment or to order your free pet emergency, visit www.tag.nsw.gov.au