Can I leave money to a pet?

Oprah Winfrey’s Story

Media mogul Oprah is well known as a dog lover. She calls her dogs her “fur children,” and they often appear with her in photoshoots. One of the wealthiest women in the world, Oprah reportedly has set aside $30 million in a trust to look after her pooches after she dies.

Lawyer’s comment:  Many people feel as close to their pets as to their family members and are apprehensive about what would happen to their pets if they died. You can’t leave money directly to your pets, but it makes sense to include in your will the name the person you wish to have charge of your surviving pets. If you don’t want your pets to become a financial burden for their new owner, you can also earmark a reasonable fund to provide for your pets’ future care. Anyone who owns a pet knows that the costs of food, grooming and veterinary care can add up quickly. Knowing your pets will be looked after can provide peace of mind.

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