Is your dog the heir to your fortune? Some people provide for family and loved ones in their wills, and no matter how much money you have, dogs are family. It’s no wonder that the rich and famous will sometimes give incredible inheritances to their spoiled pooches. The dog owners on this list left vast estates to their favorite pups to make sure that they could live the pampered life even after their humans passed away. Here are ten rich people who left their fortunes to their dogs.
1. Trekkie Dogs
The wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry made sure her dogs could “live long and prosper” when she left them a massive trust of $4 million. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry didn’t stop there. She stipulated that the dogs would have the right to stay on her estate for the rest of their lives and left another $1 million to a housekeeper if she would stay with the pups and care for them. Legal papers didn’t specify how many dogs she had, but you can bet that they had plenty of cash for all the dog treats they could ever want.
2. Conchita And Her Sisters
Daughter of the famous American businessman and philanthropist Victor Posner, Gail Posner showered her Chihuahua, Conchita, with gifts like her own bedroom and bathroom, a $15,000 Cartier necklace, weekly spa treatments, and a gold Cadillac. When she passed away, she left $3 million and a beachfront mansion valued at $8.3 million to Conchita and her two other “sister” Chihuahuas along with $5 million to a housekeeper who would care for them. Posner’s son, in comparison, was only left $1 million and sued claiming that his mother was manipulated into signing away her fortune.
3. Trouble The Maltese
The head of Helmsley hotel chains, American businesswoman Leona Helmsley had a controversial life. Her temper earned her the title “the queen of mean” and she was involved in a massive income tax fraud scandal. At the time of her death, she wrote many relatives out of her will, but when it came to her Maltese dog, Trouble, she made sure the pup was well cared for. Helmsley left $12 million to Trouble, though a judge later knocked it down to $2 million, but that was more than enough to keep up the pup’s lavish lifestyle. Trouble spent the next years of her life living at the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in Florida where the hotel’s manager spent thousands on her care every year, including $1,200 on food, $8,000 on grooming, $60,000 on training, and $100,000 for full-time security. Trouble also inherited her owner’s temper, as she had a habit of biting.
4. Gunther III And His Descendants
When German countess Karlotta Liebenstein passed away, she wanted to make sure that her German Shepherd dog Gunther III would never have to worry about being cared for. She left the dog $80 million. Gunther III passed away a month later, and since the will didn’t say anything about the money only staying with the dog until the time of his death, the fortune passed to the dog’s heir, Gunther IV. Since then, the fortune has grown thanks to investors to well over $350 million and has again passed to a new heir, Gunther V. The dog now owns villas and mansions, including one previously owned by Madonna. He has a personal chauffeur with a limo, a maid, and a custom swimming pool.
5. Tina And Kate The Border Collies
Nora Hardwell was a reclusive person who never had a significant other or children to leave her fortune to, but she did have a lot of love in her life when it came to her two Border Collie dogs, Tina and Kate. She knew she wouldn’t be leaving her dogs to a family member, but she wanted to make sure they were taken care of. Hardwell left them $1 million and their run of her home and four-acre lawn for the rest of their lives. Her remaining fortune, including any that would be left after her dogs passed, was to be divided among four charities, two of which supported animal welfare.
6. 150 Rescued Strays
Heiress to the Quaker State Refining Corporation, Eleanor Ritchey wasn’t much of a people person. She did, however, have a passion for dogs. In fact, by the time she died, she had 150 former stray dogs that she had rescued living on her 180-acre Ritchey Ranch. She left a vast fortune for the dogs, and some of her family members tried to sue claiming that she was not of sound mind when she signed the money away. The trust stayed with the dogs, however, until the last one of them died. After that, the remaining $12 million was given to Auburn University to help fund their research for curing diseases in small animals as Ritchey requested.
7. Fannie The Loyal Pup
Anne E. Dier’s true love wasn’t her abusive husband, but her dog Fannie who never let her down. In fact, it was Dier’s husband that shot her to death in 1909. Rather than leaving her fortune to her betraying husband, Dier made sure her estate went to a couple in Buffalo, New York provided that they care for Fannie and spend a good portion of the money on her. In total, the couple recieved $25,000 for Fannie’s care, which may not sound like much, but if you adjust for inflation since 1909, it amounts to well over $600 million.
8. Juice, Minter, And Callum The English Bull Terriers
Lee Alexander McQueen was a famous British fashion designer who, tragically, committed suicide at the age of 42. On his suicide note, he wrote “take care of my dogs,” but he also made sure to remember them in his will. He left each of his three English Bull Terriers $82,000. Juice, Minter, and Callum, as they are called, were given the same amount as McQueen’s godson, nieces, and nephews. He also left $165,000 to both the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Blue Cross Animal Welfare Charity.
9. Jason And Jasper
Diana Myburgh, a brewery heiress, loved her dog Jason so much that she decided to bring home another homeless pup, Jasper. She died within a few weeks of taking in the new dog, but that didn’t stop her from remembering both of her pups in her will. She left them each 25,000 pounds, and when Jason passed away, Jasper inherited his share. Best of all, Jasper was allowed to stay in Myburgh’s extravagant mansion while her son-in-law, Sir Benjamin Slade, managed Jasper’s money. He invested in the stock market and tripled Jasper’s inheritance.
10. Samantha, Teegan, And Their West Coast Siblings
The late comedian Joan Rivers left her $150 million estate to her daughter and grandson, but she also made “clear provisions” for her four rescue dogs, Samantha and Teegan who lived with her in New York, and a Border Collie and a Jack Russell Terrier who lived with her in Los Angeles. They are now taken care of by their owner’s assistant, Jocelyn Pickett, whom Rivers considered family. Rivers even remembered Pickett in her will, too. Rivers also left a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind, which helps train seeing-eye dogs. Although the exact amounts of each provision haven’t been made public, it’s clear that Rivers loved dogs dearly and wanted to care for them even after her death.
Would you leave your money to your dog? What would you do with a fortune in your will? Let us know in the comments below!