What happens to my pets if I die?

Aug. 13, 2019, 12:55 p.m.

I have three cats and recently one of the team asked me what would happen to them if I die tomorrow… and the answer is I don't know!

I haven’t previously considered that they should be included in my will or that I might need to leave some money for them to be looked after. Or who would do the looking after!

Who will look after my pets?

It is important to have a couple of people in place who will look after your pets temporarily if something were to happen to you. This information needs to be readily available so people around you know who to contact straight away.

Some things you can do are:

It may sound obvious, but tell the potential lucky recipient of Tiddles and Rover what your wishes are. If they are unable to look after them for you, you will need to find an alternative.

Carry a card that lists the name/s and contact information of your pet carer/s.

Let neighbours and loved ones know their contact details.

Place their information on your door so emergency staff know if they need to contact someone.

If you are lucky enough to find someone who is willing to care for your pet on a more permanent basis, then like the temporary carers you should include the information in accessible locations.

The permanent carers’ details should be included in your will and should be shared with loved ones. Also don’t forget to inform your vet.

What if my pets need to be rehomed?

The RSPCA have a home for life scheme which places your pet in their care and they will then look to rehome them with a suitable person. For this to be an option you will need to register your pet, include the information in your will and let people know how to contact the RSPCA when they need to. Find out more here: 

How can I provide information to loved ones about my plans?

Any permanent decisions you have made for your pet should be included in your will and shared. Discuss with your loved ones how you would like them to be looked after once you are gone. You are the expert on your pet and any useful tips such as favourite foods and games would be beneficial.

To ensure they are given the care you expect, you could allocate money into a pet trust to help with care after your death.

Finally, add your wishes about your pets to your online plan. It can help to have all of the information in one place, when the time comes.

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