Growing numbers of pet owners in Adelaide are including their pets in their Wills through trusts or other means, according to a senior lawyer specialising in estate planning and Wills in Adelaide.
Rod Genders from Genders and Partners, the oldest law firm in South Australia, says that state law does not permit animals to be direct beneficiaries of a Will, as the law regards the animals themselves as property. However, caring pet owners can leave money for their pets in pet trusts with provisions for how it is to be spent on the pet.
As our population ages and fewer couples have children, there has been an attitude shift where many people have come to view their animals less as pets and more as members of the family. For this reason, many people intend to make sure that the future of their beloved pet is already taken-care-of through pet trusts.
How to Include Your Pets in Your Will?
A pet trust is a fund left for an animal’s care when its owner dies. A guardian of the owner’s choice can access the fund, and pet owners can also assign trustees to hold the money and monitor the guardian’s spending.
Rod Genders says that most of his pet-trust clients will leave about $1,000 for veterinary bills and food per year per pet, but it varies according to the pet’s age, health and specific requirements.