Pets of the Super Rich

Pets are a special part of the family, so owners often plan in case they die first. But the Uber-rich are taking it a step further by leaving massive estates to their furry friends, ensuring they don’t miss out on their canine therapists and private drivers. And, per MessengerIt’s not just cats and dogs that are being left sitting pretty—lizards, parrots, and horses are also being groomed for life. In all 50 states, pets are considered property, which excludes them from a will (since property cannot inherit property). A solution to this can go a few ways. Animals can be placed in shelters or retirement homes, adopted, or left with a caretaker who will administer a pet trust.

Trust, you say? Messenger asks Peggy Hoyt to set up a pet trust, which runs a nonprofit in the area. Its cheapest tier starts at $150 (plus a $10 monthly maintenance fee), and requires $10,000 per cat, $15,000 per dog, and $50,000 per horse. Buying into it guarantees that the pet will end up in a new family or animal shelter. She shares her million dollar estate (plus two additional properties) with her four horses, Vogue, Haven, Sparkle, and Dash, and eight other cats and dog mixes (all with equally great names, but especially her Papillon mix, ) intends to leave at Darla Dunkle Queen of Tinkle). “You will plan for your children,” she tells Messenger. “In my case, I don’t have any two-legged babies – I only have the four-legged kind.”

Darla Dunkle is among a growing number of pets who won’t be left out in the cold by their wealthy owners. Designer Karl Lagerfeld famously left a $1.5 million trust to his cat Choupette, whom Anna Wintour once described as “a very elegant and bourgeois cat, with two maids, a chef, a personal hairdresser, and lots of diamonds.” are necklaces.” Real estate mogul Leona Helmsley founded her dog, Trouble, with $12 million. The New York Times, it raised a different kind of problem. The Maltese was given a security detail that ran $100,000 a year after receiving death threats against the millionaire pooch. (Hugging the tree If you want to stroll down that particular lane, there are a number of pets that were fortunately left behind).

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Trusts aren’t the only legal assurances pet owners are setting up these days. Christina Bergsten of the Animal Law Firm said the people that his firm offers “pup-nups” to help manage custody issues when couples decide to separate; It’s important to handle these cases in writing, she says, because judges automatically favor whichever party is named in the paperwork, such as pet adoption agreements. “Courts don’t like custody agreements when it comes to pets, and they don’t like to enforce them because there aren’t laws yet that allow them to do that,” she says. What is in the best interest of pets as they have children.” (These are the latest. Cat and dog names).

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