I've seen a lot of odd decedent requests written into their wills, but the following will provision is one of the strangest I've recently read about.
Georgia Dvorak of the Chicago area was a lover and caretaker of a number of cats during her lifetime. And when she died in December of 2011 she left instructions in her will as to the fate of her cats. Unfortunately, she requested that any remaining cats in her possession were to be euthanized! An obviously strange request for a woman that spent so much time caring for her animals. Did she want them to join her in the after life? Or maybe she didn't want anyone else to be burdened with their care? .
Fortunately for her remaining cat, Boots, the trust officers who were taking care of her estate did not want to carry out her request to have Boots killed. They petitioned the court to allow the cat to continue to live out it's natural life at an approved no kill shelter. They obtained an affidavit from Georgia's neighbor stating that they believed she would have preferred a good home be found for the cat. The probate court ultimately agreed and Boots will get to live.
It's hard to say what Ms. Dvorak was thinking with this request. She didn't leave behind any living relatives, but she did leave behind a large estate worth about $1.4 million dollars which she bequeathed to 12 different animal charities. So clearly, she wanted to continue to help animals in need. It is possible that she just didn't update her will, which was written in 1988. Or maybe she wasn't aware of the possibility of creating a pet trust that would have been able to appoint a caretaker and provide for her remaining living cats.
If you have no living relatives left to care for your pets after your passing please consider consulting with a professional estate litigation Attorney who can draft a trust for pets to benefit from your estate.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.