Solicitors in Westminster, London
Making Provision for your Pets by In-House Legal dog
Date: Friday 17 December, 2021 at 22.35
Subject: Next Week’s LBMW Blog - your capacity
I have noticed that your contribution to the financial turnover of the Private Client Department has been negligible over the last six months and that your time keeping has been limited. As departmental dog and most junior member of the Private Client department I would remind you that you still have targets to meet and that there is little excuse for your poor performance considering you clearly have capacity.
Further, I have noted that you have been flirting with Matilda the West Highland Terrier from the Property department at every opportunity. I have also noticed that she too has also contributed little or nothing to the financial performance of the firm this year; although her non-billable performance in crisp hoovering at the Christmas party was noted by management.
Accordingly, I should be grateful if you would please write next week’s blog because everyone else is rather under the cosh finishing off client work before the Christmas holidays commence.
…and that’s how it started.
To a canine mind the bustle around me would belie a memorable event such as a large T-bone steak or perhaps a tender lamb chop being served under the desk on a dreary December day. Instead I have been told that it is CHRISTMAS and the department is therefore VERY BUSY so I am in charge of the
dog blog this week…
Making Provision for Your Pets in Your Will by Ragnar-the-Pug-Dog
It is a truth well known in the private client world that we dogs (and indeed cats and horses and parrots and other pets) are mere chattels. In fact domestic animals are described as chattels in the Administration of Estates Act 1925. Much as we pets are loved by our owners, at the time of their death we have no more importance than a clock on the mantle-piece or a plate on the dresser.
A sign that your owner really loves you is that they make provision for you in their testamentary documentation. This is very easy to do and there are lots of experts in our department who will tell you how to do it. In fact we do it often and our lawyers always ask our clients if they need to think about provision for their pets in their Wills.
Unfortunately, you cannot leave a legacy directly to your pet because the pet still has no legal personality, but rather there needs to be a human to receive the pet and the legacy to pay for that pet’s maintenance. Your owner should discuss with the person who will look after you that they are happy to take on this responsibility of your care, particularly for pets with a history of longevity like parrots and giant tortoises. We always advise that the legacy to the human should be conditional upon that human accepting the pet and we often draft a letter of wishes from the owner to ensure that the recipient of the pet and accompanying financial legacy understands the standard to which the pet is looked after because, frankly, who wants to eat anything but steak? We also make sure that we name a substitute beneficiary of the pet and legacy to ensure there is always someone to look after the pet.
When our clients do not have someone who they trust to look after their pet we suggest that they make a legacy of the pet and the fund to look after that pet to an appropriate charity and our lawyers are used to working with the animal charities to find the right solution for our clients.
Making provision for your pet is very simple and we even make provision to bring pets back to the UK when they are living abroad and their owner dies but I would always suggest speaking to an expert and our department is full of them.
Date: 20 December 2021
Thank you for your email, your comments are noted. In my defence I think that my therapeutic contribution to the department should be taken into consideration when assessing my targets.
dog blog has now been uploaded to the portal.
Matilda has very much enjoyed the article and has confirmed to me that crisp hoovering now has a billable time code and she is available for hire.
Ragnar-the-Pug and all the Private Client team at LBMW would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.