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Woman’s Pets Will Inherit Her Multimillion-Dollar Fortune, Not Her Kids

It's not the first time four-legged heirs were named in a will. Woman’s Pets Will Inherit Her Multimillion-Dollar Fortune, Not Her Kids Giphy

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It’s not unheard of for parents to cut their kids out of the will, but one elderly woman in China is making international news because of the beneficiaries she chose instead.

A $2.8 million fortune

The woman, identified only by the surname Liu, opted to update her will to remove her three adult children, whom she said had not been there for her as her health declined.

Her disinherited children were replaced by heirs she found to be more loyal: her pet dogs and cats. According to the terms of the document, a local animal hospital will take care of the animals after she dies and will take responsibility for how the nearly $3 million inheritance is spent.

While her decision attracted some support from online commenters, one official confirmed that the woman was advised about the potential downsides of leaving such a large sum to the veterinary clinic, adding: “We told Auntie Liu that if her children change their attitude toward her, she could always alter her will again.”

It’s a dog’s (and cat’s) world

Although rare, there are several other cases in which wealthy individuals chose to leave their fortunes to their pets.

  • A German shepherd (in Germany, no less) inherited $65 million from its owner
  • The widow of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry left her pets more than $3 million
  • An antiques dealer left nothing to his kids in 1988 but his cat received $12.5 million

It doesn’t always work according to the terms of the will, however, as in the case of real estate mogul Leona Helmsley. She wanted to leave $12 million to her beloved dog, a Maltese named Trouble. But a judge reduced the inheritance to $2 million, which nevertheless provided Trouble a nice life in Florida until she died in 2011.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee January 29th, 2024
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