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Protecting your pet's

In New Zealand, creating a trust for a pet's benefit isn't allowed.

Trusts require clear beneficiaries, and animals don't qualify as such. However, you can include specific instructions for your pets in your Will.

For instance, you can give your estate executors the authority to rehome your pets, or you can name the people you want to care for them after your passing. Additionally, you may choose to leave these individuals money for your pets' care.

Under New Zealand law, pets are considered personal property.

This means you can leave your furbaby, Bessy to your brother, just as you might leave him family heirlooms. It's wise to include a broad provision in your Will allowing your executors to rehome Bessy if your brother can't care for him. Without this, you risk legal complications or someone needing to apply to the Court for instructions, which can be both stressful and costly.


If you’re concerned about your pets' future, now is a good time to speak with a lawyer to speak with a lawyer to update or create your Will.

Ultimately, although you can't establish a pet trust in New Zealand, updating your Will ensures your pets will be taken care of when you can no longer do so.

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