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Pet lovers know all too well that, as a part of our daily lives, family pets are a very important component and are considered to be one of the family members. Pets offer us a great friendship that contributes towards our psychological and mental health. Our fluffy friends also help to decrease our anxiety and stress levels, aid us to enhance our social endeavours, contributes to promote self-confidence within children, and advances a positive emotional progression during moments of self-isolation.

Where you are wishing to implement provisions within your Last Will and Testament regarding your pet after you die, the following will help clarify important issues you may want to consider.

When we're personally drafting our clients Will, there has been times where clients instruct us to leave a sum amount of ‘X’ directly to their pet as a gift. Unfortunately, within the Province of Ontario, legislation does not allow for a gift to be left directly to an animal, let alone a pet. In order to resolve this, alongside appointing someone you absolutely trust to take care of your pet after your death, we recommend to also leave a cash gift with a sum amount of ‘X’ to that selected individual. The way we go upon drafting this within your Will is that the cash gift amount must only be used for the care of your pet’s health and well-being. This step is extremely crucial because, should these specific words not be implemented within your testamentary document, you may have inadvertently left that cash amount of ‘X’ to the selected individual for their own personal use and enjoyment.

Also, keep in mind that drafting a pet clause is a highly complex procedure and there is a possibility of the pet clause collapsing and being invalid, if the person instructed to receive the cash gift isn’t the one ‘benefiting’ from this clause. Alongside many other considering factors, this is why we, at Red Booth Law, always start your estate planning procedure with a highly in-depth discussion to determine the importance of your family dynamic and all situations surrounding it. Only after we consider the best structure to uphold your wishes do we have the thought of personally drafting your testamentary materials.