If you have a pet, surely you have ever wondered if it is possible to leave your inheritance to it. This is what the law says and the options available to you to guarantee their care when you are not there.
Is it possible to leave the inheritance to your pet? Surely you have asked yourself this question more than once, especially if you are very close to your animal.
For many people, their pet is part of their family, so it is normal to want to guarantee their well-being when they have passed away.
However, in Spain the law does not allow a pet to become your heir. That is, you cannot include your dog or cat in the will and grant them housing or money.
However, this does not mean that your pet will be abandoned when you are not there. There are several options available to you to ensure their care and continue to have a good life.
Below are the details of the steps you must follow to ensure that the animal is in good hands.
How to leave your pet in inheritance to a relative or friend
It is best to reach an agreement with a close friend or trusted family member. Once you’ve talked about it, you can have it legally recorded in the inheritance.
in the will you have to appoint an heir to take care of your pet when you have died.
To be more sure that your pet will be protected, you can include some conditions in the document, as explained in Article 790 of the Civil Code.
“The testamentary dispositions, both universally and individually, may be made under condition”, the condition in this case is that the heir takes care of your pet in exchange for receiving some other good.
In this sense, it is possible determine that the heir should take care of the pet until he dies.
Of course, this alternative can only be used in the freely available third, since the legitimate one cannot be granted under these conditions.
“The testator may not deprive the heirs of their legitime except in the cases expressly determined by law”, establishes Article 813 of the Civil Code.
There is also the option to grant a material good in the will to that heir, and that he can only receive it in exchange for offering his care to the pet.
You can leave your pet in the care of an association
In the event that none of these options convinces you, you should know that there are associations and foundations that take responsibility for the animals of deceased people.
One of the proposals that works best is the Eden Project, an initiative that protects dogs and cats from deceased people and that looks for a new caregiver for them.
You can allocate an amount of money in your inheritance to these associations. It will not go directly to your animal, but you will guarantee the care of pets that are in a similar situation.
What happens if the person to whom you have left your pet in inheritance does not take care of it?
You must anticipate this situation if you really care about the welfare of the animal.
The first option is to designate other heirs as substitutes.. These people will take care of the pet if the first chosen one fails.
In addition, the substitutes can sue the heir in court if they consider that they are not complying with the agreement.
Another equally valid possibility is to appoint an executor who is responsible for ensuring that the heir is carrying out his task.
In these cases, the heir will lose the assets that had been granted to him under the condition of taking care of the pet.
To this we must add that the Penal Code punishes people who abandon animals.
“Whoever abandons an animal mentioned in section 1 of the previous article in conditions that could endanger its life or integrity will be punished with a fine of one to six months,” warns the law.
Finally, you should know that if you die suddenly or have not written a will for any reason, It will be your heirs who decide what to do with the animal.
The usual thing is that one of them is in charge of his care or that they take him to a protector or association.
This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Enrique Fernández.