Relying on inheritance may not solve debt problem

People who are deep in debt may find their hopes of being bailed out when a deceased relative's will is read out are dashed.

This is not just b…

People who are deep in debt may find their hopes of being bailed out when a deceased relative's will is read out are dashed.

This is not just because they may get less than other family members, but because the biggest beneficiaries may not be human at all.

A survey by insurance firm More Than has found 40 per cent of people bequeath more money to their pets than they do to people.

While this may seem like a quirky thing to do – not least as cats and dogs don't have any credit card debt to worry about – there is a clear rationale in most cases, with 70 per cent of owners concerned their pet could end up in a rescue centre after they pass away.

More Than's head of pet insurance John Ellenger explained: "Pet owners are naturally concerned about the long-term care of their pets and many are taking the necessary steps to make sure they are provided for in their wills."

However, some provisions for pets go rather further, with a fifth of people leaving their pets the family home and other sentimental inheritances including favourite armchairs, photos of the owner and pet together, old shoes, jewellery and even the owner's ashes.

When it comes to the inheritance of homes, some may find their older relatives have opted for equity release to raise important funds in retirement.

That could include the homeowners' own debts, with the Consumer Credit Counselling Service recently revealing it helped people raise an average of almost £30,000 per household to pay off money owed in the last year.

Posted by Paul Thacker
 

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