Did you know that you cannot leave a bequest directly to a pet? The law treats a pet as a possession. This means that you can leave your pet to a person (as a carer), but you cannot leave a sum of money directly to your pet. So how do you ensure the wellbeing and care of your pets?
According to Statista, 59% of all UK households have a pet. There are over 12.5 million pet dogs and 12.2 million pet cats in the UK. Have all of those owners considered what will happen to their beloved pet if they die? In most cases, we assume that a family member or friend will step in to care for the animal, but that doesn’t always work out. Now, not all of us have pets and the idea of leaving thousands, if not millions, of dollars sounds a little crazy. But to those of us animal lovers that have pets, it’s only logical and practical to ensure that your furry friend has some resources to be cared for once you’re gone.
Dying without a Will is a choice. You can choose whether to take the time to prepare a Will, or you can delay, postpone and procrastinate. But it is important to understand the consequences of dying without a Will, not just with the distribution of your possessions, but also with the “estate administration” process.
Hopefully at the end of this article the question in the title will be answered for you. It NEVER makes sense to die without a Will. It is a decision that you make that doesn’t impact you significantly (you will be dead), but it has serious repercussions for your family and loved-ones.
Dying without a Will – the first few days
If something were to happen to you today, there is a good chance that your family would be struggling with grief. But quite quickly actions need to be taken and this would fall to your “next-of-kin”.
Although the UK doesn’t have a legal concept of “next-of-kin” it generally means your closest relative.
At LegalWills.co.uk, one of the most frequent questions we hear is “Do I need a Will?”.
When the answer is “yes”, we then hear the familiar response “But, I don’t own anything?”
If only things were that simple….
In 2014, the average net worth of a British adult was £147,134. Now, depending on the equity built up in the home, if you remove that value from the net worth it still comes in at around £20,000. Therefore, even if you don’t own your own house, there could still be well over £20,000 that makes up a part of your estate after death.
According to the pension giant Aviva, most British middle aged people have typically built up private retirement savings and investments worth £53,793. Now, you might think that these figures don’t apply to you but equity can be found in unexpected sources from ISA’s to insurance plans and even the personal items you own within your house. Continue reading