We rely on our pets for companionship, laughter and many other things and when we lose a pet, the pain and heartbreak that we go through is hard to bear. Having lost a beloved cat very recently, I understand these feelings only too well. I’m still the happy owner of two dogs and one cat but the loss of one of the ‘team’ has made a difference to life.
Have you ever wondered what your pet can go through if they lose us? Like us, animals have their own way of grieving, but without their devoted owner, the comfortable environments that we so lovingly provide for them, largely with the cash that we work so hard for, could change radically for them, and perhaps not in a way that we would wish for them. Who will be there to provide for your pet and give them the same financial commitment that we do to keep them in the way they are familiar with? A friend of mine recently calculated that my pets cost me around £400-£500 each month by the time that basics such as food all the way through to luxuries like hydrotherapy were taken into account. This is indeed a tidy sum, and my friend was surprised that it hadn’t even crossed my mind!
Your Will is the first place to ensure that your pet is cared for by someone of your choice after your passing. It is little known, and perfectly acceptable, that a trusted friend or family member can be named within your Will to take over the responsibility for your pet, but do remember to ask their permission first! If this is done then at least your loved ones will know exactly what you wanted for your pets.
But what of the cost? The person most willing to care for your pet may not have the financial means to support them in the best way and may well have their own financial commitments, such as children or pets of their own. A life insurance policy is an excellent answer as this will enable you to leave a legacy for your pet. Very willingly, we put in place life insurance policies to provide for our loved ones in the event of our passing but we don’t always consider doing this for our pets. Putting in place a policy to cover the expenses involved in caring for your pets will provide their new owner with the funds required to ensure that they continue to have the care that we would have afforded them ourselves. Placing this policy in trust would also ensure that the proceeds pass immediately to the correct person and fall outside of your estate for potential inheritance tax purposes. Such policies should be calculated according to the funds you would like to create and need not be expensive at all.
I am always happy to discuss these matters on an individual basis according to personal circumstances. Those you leave behind will appreciate your thoughtfulness.