Pets once their owners have passed away

Nowadays dogs, cats, rodents and other pets play an important role in the daily life of many people. They are often considered full family members and their disappearance is very difficult to overcome. But, conversely, what happens when the owner dies?

Make my pet my heir

Unlike in the United States, is it France and Belgium impossible for pets to inherit from their owners. Therefore, do not consider naming your pet as a testamentary beneficiary. However, this does not mean that nothing can be planned, unofficially or officially, to ensure that your four-legged friend will have happy days despite your absence.

What does the law say

In the event of the owner's death, the heirs "share" the pet(s), in accordance with the personal ownership regime. So it would probably be your children (or another member of your family, depending on your family relationship) who would take care of "your companion". However, if none of them wants to take care of your pet, he or she will probably be deposited with the SRPA, where his or her future may be uncertain.

Organizing my pet's life after my death

To prevent your pet from ending his days in a shelter, it is best to plan ahead. There are several options available to you. The ideal would be to organize this scenario as soon as you adopt your pet, for example by talking about it with your loved ones. In fact, it is quite possible for you to leave your pet with someone you trust, be it a family member, a friend or a neighbor. This person will then be mentioned in your will. Moreover, you may plan to leave a certain amount of money behind to cover the future needs of your partner. However, you should consider inheritance tax, which can be high if you are not related to the person in question.

If none of your acquaintances are able to take care of your pet, you can also make a "substantial" donation or bequest to an animal protection association and ask them to take care of your pet or place it in a new, loving and welcoming family. In this case, do not hesitate to express your wishes clearly and in writing to ensure that they are respected.

In conclusion

So to be prepared for all eventualities, it is best to write down in your will what you want to do with your pet. For this purpose it is best to hire a notary or use the Morning Blue Passport.

It is best to discuss this scenario with your loved ones beforehand in order to find the most suitable solution for your pet. This way, you can make sure that the person to whom you entrust your pet, be it a person you trust or an association, not only accepts this responsibility out of financial interest, but treats him as his and offers him all the love he needs to overcome your disappearance.