More people include pets in their last will and testament

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2014 | Wills

Traditionally, a Nevada will is used to allocate gifts of money to others — like family members or good friends. Charities and non-profit organizations are also commonly mentioned in many wills as recipients of financial bequests. A recent trend, followed by many people across the country, is to include one’s pets when making a last will and testament.

Almost 70 percent of the households in America own pets — more people than ever before. It is only natural that some of them would include those pets when designating their last wishes. This inclusion ensures that the animals will be taken care of even after the death of their owner.

According to a survey by a pet food manufacturer, there is little difference between dog and cat owners when it comes to provisions in a last will and testament. Almost 10 percent of the people who own dogs have included them in their wills. That number is about the same for cat owners.

Leaving money to a pet can be complicated. The animal is generally not allowed to own property in Nevada or anywhere else. This includes cash. If someone wants to leave their pet a bequest, they must first designate a caretaker. The money then goes to that person, who disburses it on behalf of the pet.

Wills are a tried and true way to distribute assets to those beings who have been important in one’s life. Although those individuals are usually human, it is no longer unheard of for the recipient of a financial gift to have four legs and a furry coat. If that is what the pet owner wishes to include in their last will and testament, it would be beneficial for them to discuss those desires with someone who can assist them in seeing that the wishes are carried out.

Source:, More Americans are writing their pets into their wills, report finds, Rina Shah, Jan. 12, 2014