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Tilly Bailey & Irvine Celebrates The Chinese Year Of The Dog

View profile for SherReene Cheah
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Saying Happy New Year The Chinese Way -          恭喜发财   ‘Gong Hey Fat Choy’ in Cantonese or ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ in Mandarin

Chinese New Year is here. Celebrations start on Friday 16th February.  I wrote an article a couple of years ago explaining a little about Chinese New Year and what it involves: Tilly Bailey & Irvine Says Happy New Year The Chinese Way.

Once again, London celebrations will take place on Sunday 18th February 2018 and closer to home, in Newcastle, it is set to be hosting its best-ever and the region’s biggest celebration.  We can expect a showpiece parade right in the city centre which will include dragon, lion and unicorn dances in addition to floats and various performances like drumming by a female troupe, Chinese folk dances and children’s dragon dance.  It will be a sight to see and certainly not an event to be missed. 

I recall my own Chinese New Year celebrations usually started on Chinese New Year’s Eve, where the whole family would gather together for a reunion dinner.  We would then start the New Year by wearing new clothes, often in red.  For the Chinese, red is a symbol of good luck and prosperity.  The colours black, grey and white will be avoided.  We would continue the celebration by visiting our friends and family wishing them all a prosperous New Year ahead. 

The Chinese New Year represents a new start, a new beginning to a whole new year. 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Dog is the eleventh in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac sign.  People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive.  Dog is a man’s good friend who can understand the human’s spirit and obey its master.  Chinese regard it as an auspicious animal.  If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolises the coming of fortune. 

This year I have invited my colleague and dog lover, Joanne Tillotson to explain how the Year of the Dog is a reminder of the work that she does in the Probate Team. 

" The Spring Festival for the Chinese represents a new start, for many of us the beginning of a new year symbolises a fresh beginning, new year resolutions, new health regimes and perhaps making a conscious effort to get those little things done that we normally put off.

The writing of one’s Will is often a task that is put at the back of our minds. The fact that the Chinese New Year in 2018 is the Year of the Dog, raises the issue of how a Will can be used to provide for what happen to a person’s beloved animal when they die.

You may find it surprising that a Will can be used to provide for the care of your animal in the event of your death. It is in fact becoming more increasingly common as we are a nation of animal lovers.

There are various ways in which a Will can be used to provide for the care of your dog in your Will, here are a few:

A Legacy To A Beneficiary Of Your Choice

  • A Will can be drafted to include leaving your dog to a named beneficiary. You may also wish to incorporate a cash gift in conjunction with this so that the beneficiary has funds available for the ongoing care and maintenance of your pet, i.e. food/general well being and veterinary bills. However, you will need to consider whether or not the cash payment is only on condition of the beneficiary taking care of your dog. If this is not carefully written into the Will then the beneficiary could potentially receive the cash payment and not look after your dog. You may also wish to make further provision in the event of your named beneficiary dying before you and therefore naming a further replacement beneficiary to care for your dog if this is the case.

Letters of Wishes

  • Another option is to have a carefully worded letter of wishes written along side your Will giving direction to your executors (the legal representatives entitled to deal with your estate) giving instructions in relation to the care of your dog/pet in the event of your death. A cash sum can be left to the executors to use for the re-homing of your dog or to make payment to the person you have selected as beneficiary.  The letter of wishes can also include your wishes in the event that no one is willing to take care of your dog.

Animal Charity

  • There are of course a number of suitable animal charities who may be willing to take care of your dog upon death if you do not have a suitable beneficiary in mind. You may wish to make a charitable gift (with is also exempt from inheritance tax if a registered UK Charity) to the named charity and a request that they re-home your pet.

Using one of these options Will give you the peace of mind that your treasured pet is looked after and arrangements have been put in place.

Please contact our expert Will drafting team who can advise you in more detail about your options and any other queries you may have regarding the preparation of your Will."


We wanted to remind you on this very special occasion that at Tilly Bailey & Irvine, we are a full service firm.  From a private individual to a local business or a national company, we are here to assist.  We are more than happy to aid clients in the local Chinese community who need help from a solicitor but whose grasp of the English language might hold them back from seeking help.

I can help with all manner of Chinese related enquiries due to my ability to communicate in Mandarin and Cantonese.

I can also speak Malay. 

If you wish to discuss matters with me, please call me on 01642 356403 or email  (有难题需要我们协助就请拨打我的专线 01642 356403 或 发送电子邮件与我   我会尽全力帮忙解决。)