Home / Insights / Blog / Pets ‘set to inherit £26bn in wills’

Pets ‘set to inherit £26bn in wills’

Pets ‘set to inherit £26bn in wills’

Thousands of Britons are set to follow in the footsteps of fashion designer Alexander McQueen by leaving money in their will to their pets, a survey has found.

A survey of 14,181 animal owners found that 35% plan to leave more than £10,000 to their pets in their wills.

A further 37% said their pet would receive more than a close friend or relative.

Alexander McQueen left £50,000 in his will to cover the care of his dogs, but the poll suggested some pet owners across the UK are looking at leaving even larger amounts behind.

A fifth of respondents to the poll, conducted by More Th>n Pet Insurance, said they are planning on leaving the family home to their furry friends.

Meanwhile, a quarter are set to bequeath sentimental items such as their pet's favourite chair or photographs.

Overall, pets in Britain are set to receive some £26bn in wills, the survey found.

Half of those surveyed said they were making the provision in their wills to ensure their pets did not end up in a rescue centre following their death.

John Howard, Solicitor in IBB's Estate Planning and Management team comments: "Making a gift under a will for the benefit of a pet is not as straightforward as it may first appear, and involves consideration of trust law – therefore, anyone considering making such provision should take professional advice."

Natalie Boorer, Senior Solicitor in IBB's Wills, Trust and Probate team adds: "I have frequently drafted Wills for people who wish to leave a sum of money to ensure that their pet is looked after following their death. Clients often speak of the fear that their nearest and dearest, who never really liked Fido anyway, will simply ship him off to the pet crematorium when you're no longer around.

"And it is also a reflection of how much most of us care about our pets in the UK, and in England and Wales you can generally leave your money to whoever you like – that is a privilege which should be retained. If family members feel disappointed that they have not received as much as the hairy mutt who grandpa used to bring round for tea every Sunday, then perhaps they should have thought more about keeping a stash of bonios in the larder to treat the little fellow once in a while."

For advice on issues relating to wills, trusts, probate and tax and estate planning, contact our specialist team, call us on 01494 790007 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.