Join us for Eccentric Estates as we cover famous and fascinating wills in history that will make estate planning a bit more… fun?
This week, we’re sharing the story of a will that set records for her dog. German Countess Korlotta Liebenstein died in 1992 and left her $80 million fortune to her German Shepherd Gunther III.
Meet Gunther VI: The German Shepherd With A $400+ Million Net Worth
Countess Korlotta Liebenstein had no children or close relatives, so she left her fortune to her dog, Gunther III. When Gunther III passed away, the fortune was passed on to his descendants. Now, Gunther VI is now the richest dog in the world. This German Shepherd lives a luxurious life in Germany.
Who Was In Charge Of Managing The Money?
You might have asked - how was a dog in charge of money? Good question! The trust has a board with human trustees that were in charge of the money and were also responsible for investing it. They have done well with investing her money, turning the inheritance into roughly $400 million. Gunther’s money had been invested in mansions and villas around the world. Madonna even sold a mansion worth $29 million dollars to Gunther.
Where Is Gunther Now?
It seems that Gunther's inheritance has paid off. He's still living the lavish life with properties around the world, private yachts, and we imagine – lots of kibble.
And he's making headlines again with a Netflix docuseries about Gunther and his life called Gunther's Millions.
So of course, we grabbed a bowl of popcorn and dove right in. We won't spoil the series, but let's just say things aren't quite as they seem!
While Gunther's story took an unexpected twist, there is still so much we can learn about his life and how pets factor into our every day lives.
What Can We Learn From Gunther?
If there's anything to take away from the series, it's that our dogs and pets are like family.
So it’s no surprise that people want to ensure their pets are cared for when they pass. However, only 7% of pet owners in Canada have made formal arrangements for their pets.
Many of us believe that a family member or friend will step up to the plate and take the pet in. While this is true in many situations, it’s certainly not always the case. In fact, one of the top reasons pets end up in shelters is because owners haven’t accounted for who would care for them when they pass away.
Whether you want your dog to inherit your million dollar fortune or just a few sentimental dog bones, it's important to outline your wishes in a will. Most of our dogs won't be lounging on a luxury yacht any time soon, but a will is the best way to make sure that your furry family members get to live the life you want them to – even when you're gone.
Keep in mind that in many countries, like Canada, you can't actually leave your assets to your pets. Pets are considered property, but you can still make a plan to be certain they're well cared for.
Make a plan for your pets
On Willful you can appoint a pet guardian to care for them and leave money for their care. We've made it easy to calculate how much to leave in your pet trust.
Try our Pet Trust calculator here →
You may not have $80 million to leave to your dog, but it's important to make a plan for your loved ones. Whether you choose to write your will by hand, use an online platform like Willful, or get help from a lawyer, a will is a key part in planning for you and your pet's future.
Create your will online from the comfort of your home in as little as 20 minutes. Start your will for free today →