Leaving money to dogs/Tiere als “Erben”

Nicht mal in England kann man ein Tier zum Alleinerben machen, trotz deutschsprachiger Presseberichte. Salzburger Nachrichten:

bq. london (SN, dpa). Eine im Alter von 89 Jahren verstorbene Engländerin hat ihren beiden Hunden ein Millionenerbe hinterlassen. Laut “Daily Mail” vermachte Nora Hardwell den Collie-Mischlingen Tina und Kate ihr Vermögen in Höhe von 675.000 Euro. Außerdem haben sie alleiniges Wohnrecht in ihrem Haus mit weitläufigem Garten.

The Salzburger Nachrichten and other reported last week that an Englishwoman left her estate to two dogs.

They quoted the Daily Mail, but the report is not available online, at least no longer.

The Bath Chronicle has a slightly more detailed report:

bq. A Recluse has left a staggering £450,000 in her will to her two beloved dogs. Spinster Nora Hardwell earmarked more than half of her £800,000 estate to ensuring that rescue dogs Tina and Kate would be well cared for after her death.
Neighbours say she lived for the Collie Cross dogs, who now have the run of her house in a village near Bath.

Although the first sentence says she left the money to the dogs, the article makes it clear that £450,000 was set aside to pay for care for the dogs for as long as they live, including keeping her house run for them.

bq. Miss Hardwell’s last will and testament reads: “I give the sum of £450,000 to my executors on trust to invest it and to apply the income from it for the maintenance of any dog or dogs which I may own at my death for the period of 21 years from the date of my death or until the death of my last dog.”

bq. She said a home had to be kept and maintained for her dogs and carers employed to look after them.

bq. The residue of her estate – and any cash left at the end of the 21-year period – will go to the Cinnamon Trust, a national charity for the elderly and their pets; the Animal Health Trust, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the Cancer Research Campaign.

Originally the testatrix had four dogs, but two died shortly after she did.

(Via Juristisches und Sonstiges)

2 thoughts on “Leaving money to dogs/Tiere als “Erben”

  1. Yeh. Pet animals rank as ‘chattels’ or ‘things’ in Eng. & Welsh law. Money has also been held to be ‘chattels’. So the explanation is that it’s not poss. to leave a thing to a thing.

    However, there’s a difference with leaving money on a kind of charitable trust for the upkeep of pet or wild animals – a type of generosity that has a long and well-chronicled history in the Eng. & Welsh law reports.

    I wonder whether other nations go in for this kind of anti-human behaviour?

  2. I suppose there is a higher proportion of such cases in Britain. I can see leaving money to ensure that animals are looked after. It seems odd to give them the run of the house. I wonder how big it is. Of course, it is also a comfortable sort of caretaker position for whoever is the main carer.

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