“Mademoiselle Choupette: A Tale of Pet Planning”

Mademoiselle Choupette, the pet of former Chanel creative director and fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld, could be the “heir” of a £150 million fortune, which would add to Mlle.Choupette’s already amassed £2.5 million Instagram earnings.  While most pet owners don’t have £150 million to pamper their own Mlle.Choupette with, they would like to ensure that their furry family members are taken care of after they pass. In Ontario, you cannot leave your money or property directly to a pet, which makes Pet Trusts a perfect way to ensure that your guinea pig, golden doodle, Clydesdale, cockatiel etc. are cared for after you’ve passed. This trust would be created in your Will and would be part of a holistic estate planning strategy.

Pet Trusts can be tailored to every situation and can vary widely in terms. Typically, money is left to a Trustee, who will also own the pet, and who will be able to use the trust funds to care for the animal (vet bills, food, lodging etc.). More complex trusts may involve blood tests to confirm identity and mandatory scheduled vet visits, among many other stipulations. Whatever the case, your Pet Trust and estate plan should be discussed with your lawyer to make sure that your own Mlle. Choupette does (or doesn’t) inherit the farm.

Joseph is a lawyer with the Estates Group at Cambridge LLP. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne in 2015 after completing a semester abroad at the University of British Columbia, and was called to the Bar in 2018. He received a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University, majoring in Art History and minoring in Commerce.