Leslie Ann Mandel really loved her cockatiels, all 32 of them. She loved them so much that she mentioned every single one of them by name in her will.
Mandel even put $100,000 into a trust for their care and left detailed instructions about how to care for them. She appointed her stepson as the trustee and he is now responsible for the birds.
The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog wrote about this story in a recent article,"Deceased Millionaire Leaves $100,000 To A Pet Trust For Her 32 Cockatiels."
The unusual aspect of this story is not that a wealthy woman left behind a trust for her pets or even that she left behind such a large amount of money for them. The only unusual aspect is that Mandel left behind the money to birds. Large pet trust for dogs and cats are becoming very common as state laws have changed to make them possible. Americans love their pets almost as much as their own families.
The only way to ensure that your pets receive the same care after you pass away as they did when you are alive is to leave precise instructions and money so those instructions can be carried out. You do not have to be as wealthy as Mandel to create a pet trust. A much more modest sum can be placed into trust for the care of a beloved family pet.
Ask your estate planning attorney about a pet trust, if you are interested in learning more.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (September 6, 2015) "Deceased Millionaire Leaves $100,000 To A Pet Trust For Her 32 Cockatiels."