Pets as Beneficiaries

Our pets really are part of the family, so much so that ensuring they are looked after if they should outlive their owner, can be an important consideration as a part of estate planning.

For most clients it might be who in the family will care for their pet if they should die To assist the career, owners can leave them gifts to cover the costs of their pet’s needs. Unlike the USA, in Australia a pet cannot be the direct beneficiary under a Will.

However in the home of the free and the land of the brave, some famous people have gone well beyond that to naming their pets as beneficiaries. Once case in point is Oprah Winfrey who owns more than 20 dogs who will inherit an estimated $30 million if they outlive her.

The wealthiest pet ever, according to Investopedia, is a german shepherd called Gunther IV. Gunther IV inherited $106 million from his owner Gunther III. The money was invested by trustees and had apparently grown to as much as $372 million.

Read more about rich pet heirs, including a chimpanzee, stray cats and even a hen named Gigoo in this article in from 2021.

The Richest Pet Heirs in the World