Friday 26 January 2024

Children waiting for an inheritance from their rich mom should support her if her cats and dogs do!

Children who are waiting for a large inheritance from their rich mother who loves her cats and dogs should be cautious. They should read this story and learn a lesson.

In this instance, an elderly woman in China with the surname Liu has left $2.8 million fortune to her cats and dogs in her will because she felt that they have supported her in her old age whereas her children have not.

She said that her children have never visited her. She is still alive but the change in her will has been reported in online news media including the Independent newspaper.

She is taking it out on her kids. She feels neglected. The problem is that in China, I'm told, you can't bequeath money to animals in your will. 😢

If that is correct, Liu's will, as it is currently drafted, will be ineffective. I suspect she's been told about that now.

She appointed a veterinary clinic to be the administrators of her will.

What she should do now if she wants to stick with the terms of her will is to appoint a person who she can entirely trust and bequeath the money to him or her on the instructions that they hold the money in trust for her pets to take care of them for the remainder of their lives and of any money left over to be given to her children.

That would probably be a fairer and more workable way to do this.

She has clearly made her point anyway and I suspect that her children, who are not named, will have picked up on this story and decided to try and convince their mother to change her mind.

I don't know whether in China beneficiaries under a will can challenge it. In the West they certainly can and it happens quite often. It happens, for instance, when the deceased makes a will when they did not have the mental capacity to do it. They didn't understand what they were doing and therefore it can be overturned on an application to court.

And therefore, a will which is unusual and which cuts out close family members especially the kids, might be overturned by the kids in court which should be considered carefully by Liu. There is no guarantee that a judge would overturn a will but it is a possibility and in any case you don't want litigation over a will. That said I don't know how things operate in China in this respect.

There's an argument that children should look after their parents but not to the point where it looks as if they are maximising their chances to get some money off their mother when she dies! That can lead to arguments between siblings if the sibling who cares for their mother gets the lion's share of the estate!

It is not that unusual for wealthy single people to give a lot of money to pets. The most famous recent case concerns Choupette the Birman cat whose caregiver was the German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. He was besotted with Choupette and left her millions!

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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