A Shanghai woman known as Ms. Liu has reportedly chosen to exclude her three children from her will, leaving her substantial $4.3 million fortune to her cats and dogs instead. The older woman, who claims her children neglected her during her old age and sickness, cites her pets as her sole source of comfort.
Ms. Liu initially intended to include her children in her will, bequeathing them money and property. However, due to their lack of visits, care, and infrequent communication, she redirected her wealth to her animal companions.
The new will stipulate that the entirety of Ms. Liu’s fortune is designated for the well-being of her pets and any offspring they may have. A local veterinary clinic is appointed as the administrator of her inheritance and is entrusted with caring for the animals.
While Ms. Liu initially wished to leave her money directly to her pets, this is not legally permissible in China. Chen Kai, an official from the Will Registration Centre headquarters in Beijing, explained that alternatives, such as the current arrangement, can address this issue. He suggested appointing a trusted individual to supervise the veterinary clinic to ensure proper animal care.
Authorities have cautioned Ms. Liu about the potential risks of entrusting all her funds to the veterinary clinic. The Will Registration Centre officials informed her that if her children were to change their behavior towards her, she could revise her will accordingly.
The news of Ms. Liu’s decision has sparked lively online discussions in China, with some expressing sympathy for her and others noting the rarity of such situations. This case joins other instances globally where pets have been named as beneficiaries in significant inheritances.