Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld recently passed away, leaving many wondering what will become of his estate. Lagerfeld, who was 85 at the time of his passing, had a pet cat, Choupette. The feline has even become famous in his own right, with an Instagram account and followers, table book and career modeling. Because this pet was so well cared for during Lagerfeld's life, many think that he may have left his estate in a way that ensures that Choupette is taken care of for a long time to come.
There are a few ways this could be accomplished, but the most likely way is through the utilization of a pet trust. Although people used to leave pets to loved ones, as if the pet was a piece of property, trusts have become more common because people are more frequently viewing their pets as beloved family members. Through a pet trust, an individual names someone to manage the trust assets and make dispersals. An individual who provides care and maintenance for the pet is then tasked with utilizing those assets in furtherance of the pet's best interests.
One of the biggest issues with a pet trust is simply deciding how much money to place in it. To determine an appropriate number, an individual should consider how much it costs to care for the pet on a yearly or monthly basis, then calculate that figure out to cover the pet's expected lifespan.
Of course, pet trusts are just a small part of estate planning. It's highly likely that Lagerfeld utilized other estate planning tools to ensure that his estate is distributed in accordance with his wishes. California residents who would like to ensure that they, too, have a holistic estate plan that meets their needs may want to get more information about estate planning options.