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Pet Guardians: Is Your Pet Protected?

A lot of us don’t want to think of being separated from our pets in any way, shape, or form, but unfortunately, it can happen. If the worst should happen to you, is your pet protected? How do you know that your beloved pet is going to end up with someone you can trust or that they are going to be properly looked after?

In this guide, we explore the options that you have to make sure your pet is looked after long after you have died and still lives the full and happy life you intended.

Including a pet clause in your last will and testament

When you work with an estate planning attorney to plan for your passing, there are a lot of different clauses and stipulations you can put into your will. A pet clause will outline who you want to look after your pet and turns this into a legal guideline to protect your pet when you die.

Choosing a pet guardian

Choosing a pet guardian

Who will be your pet guardian? It isn’t easy to choose, and you will want to make sure that you have discussed with anyone you want to name as a guardian and see if they are happy for you to do so.

Pet guardians should:

  • Be in a good state of health themselves and therefore in a good position to look after animals.
  • Like animals. It is essential that they don’t have any phobias and that they actually want to look after animals in the event of your death.
  • Have space for the animal and suitable facilities. For instance, if they live in a high-rise apartment block it may be harder for them to look after pets, as they don’t have a garden or outside space easily accessible.

Leaving money to pets in a will

It is a good idea to leave some money to pets. Of course, they can’t spend this money themselves, but it is for things that may crop up throughout their lives. Pets need food and care including veterinary attention from time to time. Leaving some money for this removes the burden from your potential guardian.

Instructions for your pet guardian

You can create a separate document that can go to the guardian in the event of your death. This can outline things like veterinary details, medical records, and other important documentation regarding your dog. It can also show what they like and the sort of things they are not keen on or even scared of.

It is normal for a pet guardian to feel a bit overwhelmed in the case of needing to inherit and care for a pet, even if they love animals. This means that the more instructions and help you can provide, the better.

Setting up a pet trust

A pet trust is a way to ensure that you fund your pet’s care even after you have gone. Working with an estate planning attorney, you can complete the relevant documents to ensure that you have outlined what money is going to be put in this trust, as well as the trustees. The trustee/s will be able to access the money after you have passed and they are responsible for sticking to your instructions.

What happens to your pet when you die?

It is a real fear for many of us. What is going to happen when we die, and what will happen to our loved ones? This includes pets, of course.

Luckily, by creating a will and a pet trust, you should be able to ensure that your pet has the kind of care they need. In your will, you can outline who you would like to leave your pet to, just make sure you have asked them if they are happy to take on the guardianship of your pet. It helps if you have left behind financial backing, of course.


We all love our pets and want to know that they are in good hands, even after we have passed away. Your will can give you the peace of mind you need, knowing that someone you can trust will be given your pet if you pass away and can no longer take care of them.

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