As a nation of animal lovers it is a travesty that so many cats, dogs and other pets are needlessly overlooked and left homeless when their owners pass away. We have all seen the stories of celebrities and the rich who leave their mansion or a huge amount of cash to their pets. Alexander McQueen left £50,000 for the care of his dogs; Leonna Helmsley a wealthy American Business woman, left her dog called Trouble $12 million dollars! Whilst these are relatively extreme examples they do highlight the need to provide for our pets on going care when we die.
Problems can arise when the owner has made no arrangements for the pet and there is nobody available to help out. Other family members are not always able to adopt and animal charities are often at capacity with waiting lists. This doesn’t even take into account the distress felt by the pet who is obviously very confused at its change in circumstance.
You are able, within your Will to nominate a specific person to look after your pet when you die. Alternatively charities such as the RSPCA run a scheme called “Home for Life Service”. You simply include a clause in your Will requesting that care of your pets is handed over to the RSPCA after your death. The RSPCA supplies the wording for the clause and the reason for including it in the Will is so that your Executors are fully aware of your wishes. You then inform the RSPCA that you have named the service in your Will by completing a simple form. Signing up to the service means there is no confusion or uncertainty and minimum delay in finding your pets a loving new home.
Jenny Franzmann from the RSPCA legacy department explains “Home for Life is a free service which provides pet owners with the peace of mind knowing that if they have not already made arrangements during their lifetime for any pet animals which survive them, the RSPCA will take on the responsibility of the animals and endeavour to find them a loving new home. Before being re-homed, animals that come into our care are given a health-check including vaccinations, neutering and microchipping as necessary. The re-homing of animals is governed by RSPCA re-homing policies and practices and the Home for Life scheme has been a tremendous success and we have found loving new homes for many animals.”
With over 6000 registrations for the service so far, the success of Home for Life lies in its simplicity and yet inclusiveness; the service is not limited to just cats and dogs, but rather all animals large and small – from rabbits to horses. Whilst the RPSCA welcomes a gift in the Will to the charity, this is not at all a condition of using the service.
For further information on including the wellbeing of your pet within your Will or advice on general re-homing please contact Farsight Wills on 01793 433705