“Charlene” The Crocodile

Crocodile 1

“Charlene”, the crocodile, has recently made headlines as the first thing cane farmer, John Casey, received under his late father’s will.

Pets are highly valued members of many families and we often see people who are concerned about who will look after their pets if they are no longer able to.

The Queen famously stopped breeding her corgis at a certain point to ensure that she did not leave any behind when she passed away.  However, Her Majesty was gifted a puppy for companionship after the passing of Prince Philip and, undoubtedly, would have wanted to ensure that arrangements were in place for the care of her dog when she was no longer able.

Pet ownership has many benefits and some pets, like crocodiles (which can live for 150 years!) and cockatoos, will almost certainly outlive their original owner. Estate planning for your pets is an important consideration. Some things to consider are:

· Who will look after your beloved family member if you are unable to do so for a period of time (due to accident or illness)?

· What kind of care do you want your pet to receive?

· Is your Enduring Attorney specifically empowered to ensure that your pet receives this care?

· Who will care for your pet when you are no longer here?

· Will that person need to be provided with funds to assist them in providing care for your pet?

· Do you want to provide an additional gift to the person taking on this role?

· Do you need someone to oversee the arrangement?

In a recent New South Wales case (Hibbitt v Ziade [2022] NSWSC 904) a willmaker sought to leave a house to the persons she entrusted to care for her cats upon her death. However, there was uncertainty as to the meaning of the provision for this in her Will. The Court decided that the requirement to care for the willmaker’s cats did not have to be met for the beneficiaries to receive the house (but did note that there was no indication that the beneficiaries would not also care for the willmaker’s cats).

This case illustrates the importance of making sure that any provision for the care of your pets is carefully considered and appropriately drafted by an experienced estate planning lawyer to avoid any costly delays in the administration of your estate and uncertainty regarding the care of your pets.

While the law may consider pets to be personal property, we appreciate that to you they are so much more. If you want to make sure your pet, be it a 3m crocodile or a tea cup poodle, is taken care of in the way you so lovingly do, speak to one of our estate planning lawyers today.

You can telephone us on 1300 406 766 or visit our website to get started online.

Share This

Related Posts