Critter Corner: Did Karl Lagerfeld Just Leave $210 Million to His Cat?

Dear Angel,

I heard that Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s late artistic director, left the bulk of his £150 million fortune (approximately $210 million dollars according to today’s exchange rate) to his cat, Choupette. It makes me wish that I was her (the cat!) I have a beautiful, loyal, sweet, and smart labradoodle named Chewy, who I would like to ensure is taken care of, should something happen to me. I can’t leave him millions, but I want to make sure he has love and all the necessities in life. Is there a way to do so? Thanks for your help!

Rich Kitty

Dear Rich,

I don’t blame you one bit for wanting to be that cat. Lucky girl! We are pampered and happy here, as well, but $210 million could sure buy a lot of cat nip!

A Very Loved and Loving Cat

Choupette, a Birman cat, was one of Lagerfeld’s closest companions in later life. In fact, Lagerfeld referred to his cat as “his one true love” and famously said he would “marry her if it were legal.” Choupette has enjoyed a life of luxury and has sky-rocketed to fame with her own Instagram account with more than 128,000 followers.It is true that Lagerfeld’s massive wealth could end up benefiting in his cat. Presumably she will enjoy lots of cat nip and finer things, but more importantly, hopefully she’ll have another human to share her love with.

Ensuring Your Pet is Cared For

Many of you humans rightfully thinks of us pets as family members and want to ensure that we are cared for after you become incapable of doing so yourselves. I can completely understand this! One way to fulfill this responsibility is to set up a pet trust — a legally sanctioned arrangement that provides for the care and maintenance of your pet(s) in the event of your disability or death.

Pet Trusts are Enforceable by Law

Because pet trusts are enforceable by law, pet owners can have the peace of mind of knowing that we — your pets — will be cared for according to your instructions. The directions left in a trust can be very specific and can even include our favorite brand of food, how often you take us to the veterinarian,and our walk/exercise schedule. A trust that goes into effect while the pet owner is still alive can provide instructions for our care in the event that the pet owner becomes gravely ill or injured. Since you pet owners know the particular habits of your pets better than anyone else, you can describe the kind of care we — your pets — should have and provide a list of the person(s) who will hopefully be willing to provide that care, and to give us the love and attention we need and will eagerly return to our human caregivers.

Create a Pet Trust with Your Living Trust

Unlike a Will, which has to wind through the nightmare of probate, a Pet Trust should be created along with your living trust and should be designed to take effect immediately upon your incapacity or death so that your beloved companion does not have to linger in a shelter while the courts cut through paperwork. Most pet owners opt to leave pets to family or a close friend. The main value of the pet trust is the fact it’s legally enforceable. If your designated caretaker does not live up to obligations, the courts can step in. Call the Farr Law Firm for more details about Pet Trusts and your other Estate Planning needs.

Hope this helps!

Angel

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