British pet owners are set to bequeath a staggering £26 billion to their pets and many will do so without telling their family or friends, research suggests.
Rich pets hit the headlines this week when it emerged fashion designer Alexander McQueen left £50,000 in his will for the care of his pet dogs.
The new findings reveal 35% of pet owners plan to leave their pets more than £10,000 in their wills, with a further 37% admitting they intend to leave more to their furry companion than a close relative or family friend.
And it is not just money that pets will inherit.
Over a fifth of owners plan to leave them the family home and a quarter of pets will inherit a wide range of sentimental personal items, including: pet's favourite sofa or armchair, photos of the pet and owner together, an item of clothing or a pair of shoes, jewellery and even the owner's ashes.
Half of pet owners who included pets in their wills did so because they did not want their pet to end up in a rescue centre.
When considering their pet's future, 70% of owners made arrangements with family, friends and neighbours, while 19% intend to make provision in their will for a full time pet sitter.
The survey was conducted by More Than Pet Insurance and based on a sample of 14,181 pet owners.