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For the Love of Dog: California Fully Enforces Trusts for Pet Animals

By Christina M. Eastman

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For many in the United States, pets are companions, members of the family, and sometimes even replacements for children. Given this heightened status in American society, it is not surprising that many pet owners choose to include their pets as beneficiaries in testamentary instruments. A well-known case of a pet beneficiary is that of Trouble, the nine-year-old Maltese of the late Leona Helmsley, an extremely wealthy "hotelier and real estate magnate." In her will, Helmsley left twelve million dollars to Trouble and instructed
that her entire charitable trust, valued between five and eight billion dollars, "be used for the care and welfare of dogs." Her will also instructed that Trouble be buried next to Helmsley in an ornate mausoleum that was to be "'washed or steam-cleaned at least once a year."



Katie Carroll

Date 2009
Publication Title McGeorge School of Law Law Review
Pages 543-555
Publisher McGeorge School of Law
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. California
  4. Death
  5. Dogs
  6. Mammals
  7. Pet ownership
  8. Pets and companion animals
  9. Trusts