As a long time dog owner, I know first hand how they can change your life. They just want to be with you. From my first dog Scotty, the wire-haired fox terrier to Moses the gentle border collie/lab mix whose ashes sit on my mantle, on to my current best buddy Ichabod the Aussie/husky/erupting volcano mix. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded what unconditional love looks like and that I should stop worrying about the future and just throw the toy already!
Dogs are wonderful companions, and it seems I am not alone in that line of thinking. This week we are taking a look at the world’s richest dog. It is the story of a Countess who died in Germany in 1992. Being a countess, she did have a impressive fortune, and when she prepared her will, she left $80 million to her trusted German Shepherd Gunther III.
I bet he was popular at the dog park.
Our Countess Korlotta Liebenstein did not have children nor did she have any close relatives. So she did the obvious thing and gave her $80 million fortune to her dog. Of course she did!
Gunther III did have descendants (perhaps word got out at the dog park), so when Gunther III died, the fortune was then passed down to his heir. Now, Gunther VI is the richest dog in the world. He lives a life of luxury in Germany. His present estimated net worth is north of $400 million. That’s a lot of chew toys.
Gunther VI has done well!
Who Manages the Money?
So who manages the Gunthers money? Humans. There is a trust that is managed by human trustees. They were put in charge of the money. They are responsible for investing the Gunther fortune based on the rules that Countess Korletta set up when she prepared her will, and it lives on today!
They did well with her money, turning the inheritance into approximately $400 million. Gunther’s fortune has been spent on mansions and villas all over the world. Madonna even sold Gunther a $29 million dollar mansion. The Gunthers have expensive taste, but then again, they can afford it.
Where is Gunther Now?
Gunther is living a very lavish life with properties all over the world, private yachts, and a few chew toys I presume.
He even has his own docu-series on Netflix – When you know you’ve made it – called Gunther’s Millions.
Can Gunther’s story teach us anything?
Dogs and pets are family. However, you might be surprised to learn that only 7% of pet owners in Canada have made formal arrangements for their dogs and pets.
Many of us believe that a family member or friend will step up and take in the animal. While this is true in many cases, it is not always the case. In fact, one of the main reasons pets end up in shelters is that their owners haven’t planned for who will care for them after they die.
It’s important to outline your wishes in a will, whether you want your dog to inherit a million dollars or just a few sentimental dog bones. Most of our dogs aren’t going to be lounging on a luxury yacht anytime soon, but a will is the best way to ensure that your furry family members have the life you want them to have – even after you’re gone.
Just like your human family members, your pets will miss you when you’re no longer here. Don’t make their misery worse but not setting up a plan in your will for their care.
Don’t make a sad event for your pet a tragic event.
In Canada, like in many countries, you cannot leave your assets to your pets. Pets are considered property here, but you can still make arrangements to ensure their well-being.
You can – and should – appoint a pet guardian to care for them and leave money for their care.
An excellent way to do that is with will from Willful. If you haven’t done so already, you should get a will and personal care plan in place. You can get your will from the comfort of your own home and in some cases, as little as 20 minutes. By using the link you can get 15% off for you and your pet!
You may not be able to leave them $80 million, but you can certainly make them comfortable when you are no longer here to throw the toy for them.
THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED AS A GENERAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED TO BE PERSONAL INVESTMENT OR LEGAL ADVICE. READERS SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR FINANCIAL OR LEGAL ADVISOR TO ENSURE IT IS SUITABLE FOR THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES.