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Ensuring Your Pets' Future: Pet Care Arrangements in Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney

Updated: Sep 28, 2023


In the unfortunate circumstance that an individual's mental capacity decline or they pass away, the future of their beloved companions may become uncertain. For individuals who reside independently, it is crucial to establish plans for their pets in the event that they become unable to provide proper care.


Lasting Power of Attorney


To ensure the best interests of pets are protected, some pet owners have considered putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows pet owners to select a trusted individual to make decisions for their pet if they no longer have the mental capacity to do so themselves. Pet owners can appoint more than one person as their attorney and decide whether decisions should be made independently or agreed upon together.


To appoint a Lasting Power of Attorney, the pet owner must be over 18 years old with full mental capacity. They can then decide who will be their Attorney and submit a series of forms to legally register the lasting power of attorney. It is recommended to use an experienced solicitor to ensure the Lasting Power of Attorney is set up correctly to ensure the pet owner's decisions are made in the way they intend.


Will


To prepare for their pets' lives after their death, pet owners can include instructions for their pets' care in their Will. Within a Will, pet owners can specify how they would like their estate to be distributed and who will care for their pets in the event of their death. Pet owners can also create discretionary trusts to set aside money to cover expenses such as pet insurance, specialist food, and vet bills. If rehoming the pets with friends or family is not feasible, several charities can provide care or rehome the pets with a new family.


Pet owners can easily include a new clause in their existing will to specify how they want their pet cared for after their passing. Naming a beneficiary in the will, along with the pet's name, is all that is required to transfer ownership to a new caregiver. If there is no one in the pet owner's life that can take on the responsibility of caring for the pet, they can name a rescue group or charity as the beneficiary that will become the pet's guardian.


In Conclusion


One of the most effective ways to ensure that your beloved pets receive the care you desire is by establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney or making provisions in your Will. This enables pet owners to provide specific guidelines regarding the care or relocation of their pets in situations where they are no longer able to do so themselves. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you fulfil your responsibilities as a pet owner, even if circumstances prevent you from personally attending to them.


When creating your Lasting Power of Attorney or drafting a will, it would be beneficial to seek the assistance of a qualified legal professional. Although a Lasting Power of Attorney is not typically employed for making arrangements concerning pets, it guarantees that proper instructions are in place for their care.


At RJM Solicitors, we offer the expert support and guidance you need to successfully complete either process without any inconvenience. Contact us today to consult with one of our Wills & Probate Solicitors and receive expert guidance throughout the entire procedure.


Looking for affordable and expert legal assistance?

Contact us at info@rjmsolicitors.co.uk today for a quick and easy consultation!



Disclaimer: The information on the RJM Solicitors website www.rjmsolicitors.co.uk is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact info@rjmsolicitors.co.uk.

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