Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette is reportedly set to inherit some of the formidable fashion designer’s £150m fortune following his death.
While the fashion world mourned the loss of a great talent, it wasn’t long before attention shifted to Lagerfeld’s famous pet, who is almost as much of an icon in the fashion industry.
An Instagram account dedicated to documenting the intricacies of Choupette’s life boasts 120,000 followers and the famous feline also has a popular blog, both of which are run by digital marketing expert Ashley Tschudin.
According to French newspaper Le Figaro, Choupette might be entitled to Lagerfeld’s multi-million pound fortune under German law if she had been nominated as his “heir”.
“She has her own little fortune, she’s an heiress,” Lagerfeld famously said of his beloved pet in an interview in 2015.
He repeated the statement in an interview with Numéro in 2018 when he was asked to address the rumour that he’d named Choupette as an heir to his “vast fortune”.
“Among others, yes,” he replied before adding, ”don’t worry, there is enough for everyone,” implying that others close to him may also receive an inheritance.
Such was Lagerfeld’s love for his cat, that he told CNN in 2013 that he would marry the blue-eyed rag doll if it were legal.
“There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals,” he lamented. “I never thought that I would fall in love like this with a cat.”
He also once told Vanity Fair that he and Choupette communicated “with the expression of our eyes.”
It’s not yet clear who will take care of Choupette now, but it’s rumoured that the late designer’s male model muse Brad Kroenig and his son Hudson, to whom Lagerfeld is godfather, may receive the call-up.
According to Debbie Ugbo, an experienced member of the Wills and Probate team at law firm Slater and Gordon, it’s not uncommon for people to make provisions for pets in their wills. But there are certain rules and regulations in place in the UK with regards to how this works.
“A cash gift left directly to a pet upon death will fail as animals cannot own cash or legally receive an inheritance,” she tells The Independent. “The Executors/Trustees of an estate can however hold money assigned to pets on trust with the direction that the money is used to pay for the pet’s care, maintenance and other expenses.”
Ugbo added that her firm regularly helps clients leave sums of money to their pets to ensure they’re properly cared for after their death.
“This can be achieved by leaving a cash gift to a friend, relative or trusted person, on the understanding that the money will be used to look after an animal,” she clarifies.
“For anyone thinking of doing that, we always recommend they speak to the person first and get their consent that they are happy to take on that responsibility.”
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