In Quebec, more than half of households own a cat or a dog. That’s more than 3 million pets. Pets are an integral part of the family. The love and respect shown to them makes them frequently considered full members of the family.
Animal rights in Quebec
Prior to 2015, animals were considered movable property. That is, things that can be moved or move by themselves.
On December 4, 2015, Section 898.1 of the Quebec Civil Code came into force, which stipulates that:
Animals are not property. They are sentient beings and they have biological imperatives.
In addition to the provisions of the specific laws which protect them, the provisions of this code and any other law relating to property are nevertheless applicable to them.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, as well as certain animals raised for their fur, remain animals within the meaning of the law.
In Quebec, only natural persons and legal persons such as charities can receive bequests, with the exception of animals.
Rest assured, this does not mean that nothing can be provided for in your will for your pet. However, it will not be possible to have him inherit, like Bubbles, the Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee that inherited $2 million and a property from the King of Pop.
Indicate your wishes for your pet in a will
A will, preferably notarized, is a great way to make arrangements for what will happen to your pet following your death.
It is possible to specify who will be entrusted with your animal and to provide an amount devoted to the care of your animal. The amount must be reasonable and proportionate to his needs.
The dependent bequest and testamentary trust will allow you to plan the arrangements and your wishes that will affect your pet.
Me Mona Salehi and her team of notaries will be able to advise you on the best way to plan your wishes in your will, while taking into account your assets and the age and state of health of your pet.