Many people want to ensure that their pets are properly cared for after they die. Some people try to find a family member or friend willing to take care of the pet, while others establish Trusts to make sure their furry loved-ones will have their needs provided for without interruption. A recent story out of Italy reveals just how much devotion pet owners can show to their companions.
Tomassino, a 4-year-old cat formerly owned by the multi-millionaire Maria Assunta, recently inherited the woman’s entire $13 million fortune. Ms. Assunta had previously been married to a wealthy real estate mogul, but she and her husband never had children, and, after her husband’s death, she was left with no family members to whom she could leave her money.
So Ms. Assunta decided to leave her entire estate to Tomassino, a former stray she had picked up from the streets of Rome. However, Italian law doesn’t allow pets to own property. Ms. Assunta left the money to her nurse, known only as Stefania, who was a fellow cat lover. She and Ms. Assunta met while they were in a park, and, after learning of their shared love of felines, Stefania became Ms. Assunta’s nurse during the woman’s years of failing health. After Ms. Assunta died, Stefania inherited the woman’s fortune under the condition that she would care for Tomassino.
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