As monetary settlements called “pet trusts” grow in popularity, animal companions of the wealthy can continue living large even after their owners are long gone. “People develop a really strong bond with the animals they share their lives with,” says Worcester, Massachusetts, attorney Tracy Craig, who sets up 8 to 10 pet trusts a year and has a $75,000 trust for her two golden retrievers. “They’re viewing their pet animals as family members.” Here, a round up of furry friends who scored sizable nest eggs.
A Countess’ Best Pal
In the hierarchy of canine heirs and heiresses, German shepherd Gunther Liebenstein III is considered the king, having inherited a reported $80 million upon the passing of German Countess Carlotta Liebenstein in 1991. Thanks to savvy investments (by human advisers), his only son, Gunther IV, inherited a $372 million estate when Gunther III died a few years later.
No Kibble for Them
Buckshot, Katie and Obu-Jet—a beagle and two Lab mixes owned by Maryland resident Ken Kemper—are eating their inheritance, literally. Caretaker Roy Grady once noted that the dogs, who scored 800,000 bones after Kemper died in 2006, dine on spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread every Friday night.
Forget the short leash. Conchita, the Chihuahua of Miami heiress Gail Posner, and her “sisters” (a Maltese and a Yorkie) are chauffeured around town in Conchita’s very own gold Cadillac Escalade. When Posner passed away in 2010, Conchita and her four-legged siblings inherited her Miami mansion and $3 million cash—$2 million more than Posner’s (human) son, Bret Carr.
Publishing tycoon Miles Blackwell was utterly devoted to his hen, Gigoo, who scored £10 million after Blackwell’s demise. The money left for Gigoo was tucked away in the Tubney Charitable Trust, a philanthropic organization dedicated to, among other causes, farm-animal welfare. (The Trust closed its doors in 2012.)
Before his suicide in 2010, fashion icon Alexander McQueen made sure his three bull terriers, Minter, Juice and Callum, would continue to have pampered paws with an $82,000 gift and a plea in his suicide note to family and friends to “look after” the pups.
Beats the Doghouse
Although there weren’t any pups aboard the Starship Voyager, the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was certainly an animal lover. When Majel Roddenberry succumbed to leukemia in 2008, she left their dogs a $4 million residential trust, plus $1 million and residential rights for their caretaker.