It has become common in recent years for pets to be included in an estate plan as people focus on distributing their wealth to care for pets as well as human relatives. While generally only sufficient money has been left to care for pets in a modest lifestyle, some have inherited large amounts of money.
Recently, Time published a list of some of these wealthy pets in "The 10 Richest Pets of All Time."
The list includes:
- Gunther III - A German countess left her dog her entire $80 million estate. The trustees of the estate have grown the fortune to $375 million that now belongs to Gunther's child, Gunther IV.
- Toby Rimes - This poodle inherited $40 million when its owner passed away in 1931. However, Toby died a few months later and the estate was divided between various charities.
- Tommaso - This Italian cat was a stray adopted by an elderly woman who left it her $13 million estate.
- Gigoo - A British publisher left his beloved chicken Gigoo a fortune worth approximately $15 million.
- Trouble - Leona Helmsley left her dog Trouble $11 million – although the inheritance was later reduced to a mere $2 million by a judge.
Of course, you do not need to leave a pet anywhere near the above amounts to make sure they are taken care of after you pass away.
An estate planning attorney can guide you in caring for your pets as well as your relatives.
Reference: Time (Oct. 5, 2015) "The 10 Richest Pets of All Time."