Unlike the US, in the UK your pet cannot inherit assets or money from you as pets are considered belongings. There are ways around this to safeguard the future care of your animal. You can: Make a will and gift the pet You can gift the pet to someone you trust along with a lump sum of cash to cover the maintenance costs (food, vet bills etc) however, there is no legal onus on the recipient to keep the pet. They can technically get rid of the pet and keep the money. Create a Pet Trust This can be done while you are alive or in your will. The Pet Trust usually appoints two people to be the trustees of a trust which has in it (a) the pet and (b) some funds to cover the maintenance costs of the pet. The trust can be drafted to set out what obligations the trustees have imposed upon them when looking after the pet (walk twice a day etc).An advantage of this option is that the trustees are bound to follow the terms of the trust. The downside is the expense of preparing one and getting someone to agree to be a trustee. tony.spencer-smith@maplebrook-wills.co.uk

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