44 percent plan to leave ‘significant’ amounts of money to their pets

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Research has shown that 44 percent of pet owners plan to leave a significant amount of money to ensure their pet is taken care of after they die.

Pet Business says that on average pet owners plan to leave £3,642 in trust for their doggie, moggie or other animal, according to the research carried out by Simpson Millar solicitors. This compares to a median of £11,000 that is left to next of kin. Statista data reveals there are some 51 million pets in the UK, so if everyone left the average amount to Fido etc., in their will, the sum would amount to £81.7 million.

Simpson Millar’s research showed that nearly one in 10 (9 percent) of pet owners claim they will be leaving more than £10,000 for the welfare of their animal, with three in six (6 percent) saying their pets will benefit to the tune of more than £20,000.

Setting up trusts

According to UK inheritance laws, money can’t be left directly to pets. However, if a trust is set up then a selected beneficiary can access that money in order to look after a pet.

Of the generations, young people (18-24 years old) are the most likely to leave money to their pets (70 percent) but those in the over 65 age group are the most likely to be generous. As well as trusts for their pets, pet owners also plan to leave an average of £1,717 to pet charities.

Some third of pet owners (31 percent) plan to leave their animal to their children, one in five want to leave their pet to their partner, and just four in 100 say they will leave their pet to a charity that will rehome them.

20 percent haven’t thought about who will care for their pets

Of course, some owners have not put plans in place. The research showed that one in five owners (21 percent) have not planned to leave any money to look after their pets, and 20 percent have not yet thought about who will care for their pets after they die.

The richest cat in the world was thought to be a black cat named Blackie who inherited £7 million in 1988 when his antiques dealer owner, Ben Rea, died. Oprah Winfrey is supposed to have made provisions for her dogs—the grand total of $30 million.

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