Like the old saying goes, you can’t choose your family. But if you’re an animal your family can sure as heck choose you, which is probably why many of the world’s mega-rich have chosen to bequeath more of their inheritance to their loyal pets than to their often spoiled kids.
Once a novelty, it’s now become expected for the unimaginably wealthy to leave millions to their surviving pets to ensure there’s no disruption in their spa treatments and fancy feasts.
If you thought the amounts of money lavished on human heirs of the rich and famous were obscene, wait till you see the millions rained on these one percenters of the animal kingdom. [For those people without Scrooge McDuck money, here’s how you can make sure your pets are taken care of after you’re gone.]
10. Pet: Bubbles (chimpanzee)
Owner: Michael Jackson
Bequest: $2 million
Long before it became a reality, Jackson left his chimp Bubbles $2 million payable upon his death. However, fears that the chimp’s increasing aggression might be a danger to Jackson’s newborn son forced the preemptive relocation of Bubbles to an animal sanctuary, where he lives to this day. Which is probably a healthier environment than life in the Jackson family anyway.
9. Pets: Unspecified number of dogs
Owner: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry
Bequest: $4 million
After dying in 2009 at the age of 76, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene set up a $4 million trust for their dogs, plus an additional $1 million for a domestic employee to care for them.
8. Pet: Gigoo (hen)
Owner: Miles Blackwell
Bequest: $10 million
Blackwell and his wife had a track record of caring for animals, having established the Tubney Charitable Trust in 1997 to protect farm critters. After she died in 2001, the childless publishing magnate left Gigoo 10 extra-large then died unexpectedly three weeks later at age 56.
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